Photo courtesy of James Ali
July 25, 2012
Here, in the basement of Dave's Down to Earth Rock Shop in Evanston, there be monsters, or at least their remains. There's the jaw section of a T-rex as well as a T-rex egg, a raptor egg, a dinosaur leg bone (no sitting, please), and the impressive full skeleton of a cave bear. But even fossils of the least fearsome creatures manage to astonish. Guide Zach White points out very rare crab fossils that preserve the complete animal. These creatures were usually prey for others, or were too fragile to withstand fossilization beyond the stray body part, he said. This collection that spans up to 40 million years and includes findings from as far as New Zealand is the life's passion of Dave Douglass, who started collecting fossils at the age of eight growing up in Joliet. White estimates half of the antiquities on display Douglass collected in the field. Also on display are the rarest of gems, including one of the biggest pieces of red amber ever unearthed.
Open 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; 704 Main St., Evanston; free, 847-866-7374 and davesdowntoearthrockshop.com