LEC students hunt fossils at Buffalo learning center

Warren County School District students went on a hunting expedition last week.

Their quarry – creatures long dead.

“On Thursday, May 23, the fifth through eighth grade students at the LEC (Learning Enrichment Center) went on a hunting trip,” science teacher John Fedak said. “They were hunting fossils.”

The trip took 21 students to Penn Dixie Paleontological and Outdoor Education Center near Buffalo.

The former quarry site, now operated by the Hamburg Natural History Society, was once the bed of an ancient sea, Fedak said.

The students hunted the area for 380-million-year-old Devonian Era fossils.

“All of the students were successful,” Fedak said. “The most abundant fossil found was a type of coral, but brachiopods were nearly as abundantly found.”

Other finds included “the remains of ancient cephalopods – relatives of squid and octopus,” he said. “Perhaps the best finds were the trilobites.”

Many students found trilobites, but the quality of a few made their discovery more impressive.

“Students were able to find many trilobites during their hunt,” Fedak said. “The remains of these ancient crustaceans are found easily, but finding an intact trilobite is a little more difficult.”

Sixth-grader Iris Roberts found an intact trilobite “on the surface of the ground,” he said.

“Penn Dixie’s Fossil Site is open to the public and not too far of a drive from Warren and its surrounding areas,” Fedak said.

Information about the facility is available by visiting www.penndixie.org.