National Fossil Day

COOLIDGE — The Glyptodonts of Southern Arizona will be the topic of a special virtual event hosted by the Pinal Geology and Mineral Museum in observance of National Fossil Day.

National Fossil Day, a time to promote the nation’s geological heritage, is Wednesday.

On Wednesday, Oct. 21, beginning at 7 p.m., the Pinal Geology and Mineral Museum in Coolidge will host an event on YouTube featuring paleontologist David Gillette, the Edwin Colbert curator at the Museum of Northern Arizona.

The subject of his presentation is “The Life and Times of the Most Famous Ice Age Animals You Never Heard of — The Glyptodonts of Southern Arizona.”

“Dr. Gillette is a good speaker and knows his stuff,” a notice about the event posted on the Pinal Geology and Mineral Museum Facebook page says.

Glyptodonts were four-legged creatures that resembled a tortoise but were as big as a Volkswagen Beetle, according to an article written by Gillette on the Arizona Geological Survey website.

“Glyptodonts were 4-legged tanks,” Gillette wrote.

Though they once roamed throughout the region, they disappeared from Arizona in the middle of the Pleistocene Era, although they continued to live around the Gulf Coast until about 11,000 years ago, the article says.

Those wishing to watch the Pinal Geology and Mineral Museum event do not need to sign up in advance. It’s online at

National Fossil Day is an annual event promoted by the National Park Service. Events are planned nationwide.

Grand Canyon National Park will celebrate the special day on Wednesday, Oct. 14, with virtual events on the park’s Facebook page.

From 10 a.m. to noon, park paleontologists will be on hand to answer questions about fossils and throughout the week, virtual Grand Canyon tours will focus on the region’s paleontology.

Virtual activities offered by the National Park Service are online at


Melissa St. Aude is the Arts & Entertainment editor at PinalCentral. She can be reached at

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