December 3, 2014
The Virginia Museum of Natural History's new casting and molding program, led by Research Technician Ray Vodden, is making possible multiple new displays both at VMNH and at partnering museums across the U.S. thanks to support from the Patterson Charitable Foundation Trust, the Hermes Family Foundation, and generous donations to the VMNH Foundation Discovery Fund https://www.vmnh.net/forms/donate. The process involves creating molds of fossils and other specimens that can then be used to create scientifically accurate casts for use in research, exhibits and education programs. Upcoming exhibits will include casts of Castoroides (an extinct giant beaver), and Smilodon fatalis (Saber-toothed cat). Both creatures lived in what is now North America (including Virginia) during the Pleistocene epoch, which lasted from about 2.5 million to 12,000 years ago. Ray and other staff and volunteers are also producing a variety of casts to be available for purchase in the VMNH Store. These amazing casts will be available for purchase online in the coming weeks.