Special Exhibits! Turlock Rock and Gem Show
March 9th & 10th, 2024
Turlock Fairgrounds 900 N Broadway

The Tethys Ocean Project

The Tethys Ocean Project is pleased to present again the fossil exhibit "SHARKS". The ever-popular 5-1/2 foot Megalodon jaws can be compared to one of the largest Great White Shark jaws found to date. Five other menacing shark jaws and numerous teeth are included in the show. There will be a 10 foot Great White shark cast. Note: no modern sharks were killed for the exhibit.

One of the most ancient shark jaws is from the Permian. These tiny teeth are 250 million years old. The Whirltooth shark had bizarre teeth. Free souvenir shark teeth from 50 million years ago will be given to the first 2,000 children in attendance.

Three generations of Schaffert family will be on hand throughout the show to chat with visitors and share their passion for ancient marine fossils.

MLMS would like to extend an enormous THANK YOU! to the Schaffert family for providing Tethys Ocean Project Exhibits exclusively with The Mother Lode Mineral Society for 18 years.

The 2017 Tethys Ocean Project included Tridacna, the largest ammonite found in the Americas, measuring over 5 feet.

Half scale painting of Megladon, the largest shark to have hunted prehistoric oceans. The art work was done by Eric Schaffert, pictured with the mural that is on display at the show.

Sand Man

Bill Behringer: AKA the Sand Man, will have an interesting sand exhibit, featuring pictures of magnified sand from all over the world.

Balchi-Col Lake, Naberejoye, Crimea, Ukraine

Red Bay, Coromandel Peninsula, Waikato, New Zealand


Frangokastello Beach, Crete, Greece

Bill Beiriger became fascinated with sand at the age of 12 when his family visited the Pacific Grove Natural History Museum and he saw an amazing sand collection. This was the beginning of a interest in collecting sand. His collection now totals over 5,000 samples from all over the world and it's still growing. Bill's father thought collecting sand would be an inexpensive hobby for his son. Little did he know how expensive it would become to exchange sand samples with people in distant countries. Bill retired from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory after a 26-year career as a Technologist with the Earth Science Department doing analytical mineralogy, which included x-ray diffraction, electron microprobe analysis, scanning electron microscope work, and many other things, all of which pared well with his hobby of sand collecting. After retiring, Bill volunteered as a docent for the paleontology, anthropology, and spider exhibits at the Blackhawk Museum in San Ramon. He also gives earth science presentations to elementary schools. We hope you enjoy experiencing the wonders of magnified sand as much as Bill has for the past seventy years.


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