Rocks, Minerals and Fossils
Location: Upper Level
Hastings Museum features an extensive collection of rocks and minerals, including samples from around the world, Nebraska agates and florescent minerals. Our display cases let you get up close – and enthusiasts often rave about our collection.
Two cases, one with polished slabs and another with translucent slabs, are a sight to behold, and a quartz crystal on display measures 16 inches high! For those studying Nebraska, all Nebraska rocks and minerals are on display.
See fossils from the Cambrian Seas to Ice Age Mammals, including a mammoth tusk, prehistoric bison skulls, giant sloth bones and mastodon teeth. It’s all the types of fossils you can find in Nebraska, and specimens date back 500 million years. They show just how large these animals were – Imagine a tooth that’s larger than your hand!
What! – No dinosaurs in Nebraska? During the Cretaceous Period, what is now Nebraska was covered by a vast inland sea. This means there are no land dwelling dinosaur fossils in Nebraska — they simply did not live in this area.
Instead, we have sea dwelling dinosaurs! Like the Tylosaurus and Xiphactinus in the Cretaceous Sea. It’s a great collection of fossils and one you won’t want to miss.
Also in this area you’ll find exhibits on fish and perhaps even a frog skeleton! If you look closely you’ll see a plug in the bottom of a tank – a little humor from the exhibit’s designer.