Dunkleosteus Says What? At the @CleveMetroparks Rocky River Nature Center #AtoZChallenge - iNeed a Playdate Dunkleosteus Says What? At the @CleveMetroparks Rocky River Nature Center #AtoZChallenge iNeed a Playdate a Blog for Northeast Ohio Moms


Dunkleosteus Says What? At the @CleveMetroparks Rocky River Nature Center #AtoZChallenge

Do you know about the Dunkleosteus?

It is some sort of prehistoric, dinosaur shark whose fossilized remains were found in the shale of Northeast Ohio.  According to the Cleveland of Natural History, who happen to have the world's best Dunkleosteus (or "Dunk" as he is known in the museum) fossils:
Dunk was one of the fiercest creatures alive in the Devonian “Age of Fishes,” about 360 million years ago. Up to 30 feet in length and weighing as much as four tons, this predator was capable of snapping a prehistoric shark in two with its razor-sharp, self-sharpening jawbones. These long-extinct fishes lived in the Cleveland area, which was covered by a shallow sea. A rich variety of fossil fish from the Late Devonian have been uncovered in the Cleveland Shale, which is made up of sediment left behind by this prehistoric ocean. Dunkleosteus is named for former Museum curator of vertebrate paleontology Dr. David Dunkle.
Well, let me tell you that in all my 39 years of living in Northeast Ohio AND going to the Rocky River Nature Center I had no idea what it was until my son sang about it in first grade.

I can still hear the song playing in my head just looking at the picture and it has been three years!

As a special treat, they got to sing it for a promo piece for the Rocky River Nature Center and the Cleveland Metroparks.

The Rocky River Nature Center has a model of the Dunkleosteus sitting in the middle of the center. Of course that is not the only thing worth wild at this delightful retreat but it is huge! I mean put your head in its mouth big.

The Nature Center is located down in the Rocky River Valley and has dazzling views from the deck overhanging the river. Inside you and your family can play in the Hideaway Hollow, a giant oak tree with lots to discover or dress up in pioneer clothes and devote a few hours pretending to live in a one room house.  If that is not your deal there is also wildlife to view from the every direction in the comfort of an Amish made rocker at the bird feeding station.

Outside the Nature Center are gardens that lead to over five miles of trails. Delve into the trails that will take you to the rivers edge, a wetland forest, ponds, hilltops and an ancient American Indian earthworks.
A bit of warning when you go: the Nature Center is set off the road, to the back and the driveway is easy to miss if you are not paying attention.

We tend to spend the majority of our time there in the fall and rainy days during the spring and summer months.  I delight in watching the colors change and the longs walks through the forest is one of my favorite activities.  The kids love it to especially the whole exploring and danger like feats.

Did I mention that this delightful domicile of outdoors is perfect for field trips, too!

Have you been to the Rocky River Nature Center?

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