A Marl quarry in South Jersey in America will be the backdrop of an exciting new fossil museum.
A marl quarry, understood to be filled with marine and terrestrial fossils, will be the setting for Rowan University’s Jean and Ric Edelman Fossil Park Museum.
The museum will open next year and bring guests a new experience of 66-million-year-old marine and terrestrial fossils. The fossils could be one of the last documents of the dinosaur world before extinction.
In a bygone era, the area is considered a shallow sea that helped entrench the fossils. In recent years, the Mantura township’s pit was used for marl in local cement manufacturing. According to reports, the marl extraction became “financially untenable” with the idea of turning the area into a shopping centre.
After negotiations, Rowan University partnered with the township to create an interactive museum that could educate guests on the fossils and the dinosaur era.
The $75 million development will be a 44,000-square-foot Fossil Park Museum designed by Ennead, a well-known architecture firm.
Dr. Kenneth Lacovara, a world-renowned paleontologist and founding dean of Rowan’s School of Earth & Environment, is leading the construction of the Fossil Park & Museum.
“There will be so many reasons to come,” Lacovara said.
“Some people will come just for the VR, or for the playground, or for the food, and that’s before they even hunt for fossils. This will be a multi-day experience to take it all in.”
The facility will feature:
Immersive virtual reality (VR)
Paleo sculptures by world-renowned prehistoric artist Gary Staab
Dioramas of scenes from the prehistoric period
A 120-seat, stadium style theater
Opportunities for visitors to level-up through eleven layers of achievement
A Cretaceous garden providing visitors a sense of what the landscape of the period would have been like
Critter Cove features live animals, including a saltwater touch tank
Café, museum store, and special events facilities
playground created by Toronto designer Earthscape featuring a pterosaur with 45-foot wingspan
A real fossil digging experience
Natural trails, and more.