Fossil Lake in a Box A Virtual Aquarium

A look inside a virtual aquarium with a gar fish swimming past.  Above is a screen that provides information about the fossil fish. Below is a control panel where fossil replicas can be touched and a touch screen allows for additional choices.
Fossil Lake in a Box was installed in August 2020.

Chase Studio

The vitual aquarium provides an opportunity to look into ancient Fossil lake and see how the animals may have looked and behaved 52 million years ago. Fish can be selected by touching their fossil on the control panel or using a touchscreen to chose different fish. A cutting-edge transparent OLED TV monitor displays the selected fish as it swims across the aquarium; this exhibit could not have been created without this technology. Inside the exhibit, there is a diorama of a nearshore lake bottom and along the edges are TV monitors which provide depth to the lake scene. A screen above the window to the aquarium provides information about that fish including how many fossils are found each year. The park plans to add more organisms to the aquarium in the future.
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1 minute, 56 seconds

The screen saver or attract screen for the virtual aquarium. There is no sound in this video.

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1 minute, 44 seconds

When a fish is selected via the tactile fossil element or the touchscreen, the fish will swim across the aquarium screen.

Images of fossils to select onscreen: stingray, gar, and amia. An arrow pointing right says Touch a fossil to select a fish. Below it says Learn about the fishes that lived in Fossil Lake. Watch in the lake above for your selected fish to swim into view.
The touchscreen currently allows for 3 additional fish to be selected.

NPS Photo

Upon installation, the touchscreen allows for visitors to select 3 fishes whose fossils are too big to fit on the tactile control panel. In the future, the park plans to add additional organisms to the aquarium which can be selected from this touchscreen.
A TV monitor shows a stingray fossil labeled Heliobatis radians. It shows 55 are found per 100,000 each year. There is a small paragraph with information and it shows there is no closely related living species.
Above the viewing window there is a TV monitor that provides information about the selected fossil.

NPS photo.

For each species selected, a TV monitor above the viewing window shows a photo of the fossil and its name, how many of that fossil is found each year from approximately all 100,000 fossils, and there is a short paragraph that provides information about the fossil. For a fossil that has a closely related living species, there will be a photo of that species as well as a map of the world showing where that species is found.

Last updated: August 2, 2021

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