ROSS TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — Shoppers at Ross Park Mall search for the newest fashions, while unwittingly walking on a sea bed that dates back 150 million years.
“You can look around, you can see different shapes,” says paleontologist Albert Kollar of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. He says there are fossils embedded in the limestone flooring from southern Germany.
“Animals that once lived in the oceans then are now fossilized, and here in Ross Park Mall,” he explains. “So these these fossils in particular are 150 million years old.”
Among the fossils,he says, are “Ammonites that are known to be common in the Jurassic seas.”
Mall employees have dubbed their workplace “Ju-ROSS-ic Park.” Youngsters are handed magnifying glasses and pictures of fossils found in the floor.
“They go out and search for the fossils, take pictures of them, bring them back and they actually get half-off the Carnegie Museum of Natural History once they verify the photos,” says Marketing Director Mike Gianoutsos.
Three-year-old Mason Stewart and his mother find every fossil on the list, from algae to ammonites.
“He loves dinosaurs and fossils and reading all the books about them,” Carla Stewart says. “And it’s nice to have him hands-on with the things.”
When the fossil hunt is finished, an employee hands him an inflated Tyrannosaurus Rex — his favorite dinosaur. Mason agrees it was a successful “dig.”