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Help paleontologists discover fossils and prehistoric human relics

Help paleontologists discover fossils and prehistoric human relics
PHOTO COURTESY OF SHUTTERSTOCK

If you have ever walked through the dimly lit galleries of a great natural history museum, you know the big payoff is seeing a gigantic dinosaur skeleton. It could be the 42-foot-long Tyrannosaurus nicknamed Sue at Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History, or the bones of the largest dinosaur ever found, the 100-ton Argentinosaurus at Atlanta's Fernbank Museum of Natural History.

These fossilized bones are awe inspiring. Your children and you can't help but daydream about fossil hunting. Just imagine it. You jet off to an exotic country, like Kenya with its vast deserts and dusty mountains, then travel over rough roads for days until you find paleontologists digging for fossils. There, you make the next great fossil discovery.

In reality, of course, you'd need a whole lot of schooling, money and time for such an undertaking. However, you can help paleontologists who are thousands of miles away to find fossils and prehistoric human relics, without leaving your house.

In fact, thanks to drones and the Internet, you can remotely assist paleontologists who are exploring the fossil-rich Lake Turkana region in Kenya. Scientists like the site because it's loaded with fossils, although not of the Tyrannosaurus variety. These fossilized bones and early Stone Age tools date back about 3 million to 6 million years ago.

Lake Turkana is ripe for fossil exploration because nearby rivers regularly wash away the area's crumbly soil, little by little. As a result, new fossils are discovered all the time.

Next page: Is that a fossil you see?
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