Community of Curiosity - April: Ancient Wisconsin

mpm community of curiosityWe’re exploring the great state of Wisconsin for April!

What does our state’s fascinating ancient history look like?

At the Museum


Join MPM educators on the Museum floors for in-person, drop-in programming on Thursdays and Fridays from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. through the month of April.

Geology Cart

Explore the stories of rocks, landscapes, and life in what is today known as Wisconsin, from the very first lifeforms to the Ice Age. Learn about the interesting creatures that called this area home millions of years ago and how glaciers helped us become “The Dairy State.”

get curious

Dinosaurs almost certainly roamed Wisconsin during the Mesozoic era, about 248-65 million years ago. However, Wisconsin doesn’t have dinosaur fossils—why? Visit the Third Planet gallery on our Second Floor to learn more.

At Home

MPM Untold

MPM Robert and Sally Manegold Curator of Geological Collections Patricia Coorough Burke shares her research about the upper Midwest during the Silurian period, the richness and diversity of life during this time, and how MPM’s fossil collections help researchers analyze how life has changed over time.


Learn even more with the Virtual Silurian Reef, a joint project between the Milwaukee Public Museum and the Chicago Field Museum.


The Reefs of Old Milwaukee

Did you know that Milwaukee used to be underwater? It’s true! It also used to be on the equator. During the Silurian period of the Earth’s history about 425 million years ago, much of North America was covered by a shallow, tropical sea. Reefs flourished with corals, crinoids, brachiopods, and many other plant and animal species. Here’s the best part: You can still see the Silurian Reef today, and it’s a lot closer than you might realize. Print our Silurian Reef fossil identification guide and Silurian Reef locations, then head outdoors to explore the Silurian Reef in southeastern Wisconsin!


MPL Booklist

Want to learn more about this month's topic? Milwaukee Public Library has put together a list of recommended reading for both children and adults.