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Billion Year Walk is hands-on journey through time

Scientists haven’t figured out time travel just yet, but Oakland residents who want to learn about dinosaurs and other extinct creatures can pretend they’re back in time on Saturday at Lake Merritt.

The Billion Year Walk is an educational event to give kids and their parents a hands-on experience with Earth’s history where they can see dinosaur fossils, woolly mammoth bones and more, according to the event’s host group, Bay Area Skeptics.

The event begins at the Rotary Nature Center at 600 Bellevue Ave. and continues around the lake with a total of 42 stations set up along the 3.1-mile perimeter of the lake, ending back at the nature center. According to event organizer David Almandsmith, by walking around the entire lake, families will simulate a journey from the beginning of earth’s development up to the present day.

Almandsmith said:

“The first sign is a demonstration of photosynthesis because years ago, there was not enough oxygen for animal life to exist.”

“If you walk further you will see multi-cellular organisms and on another table a display with living sponges.”

Participants can start the walk any time after 10 a.m. until the event ends at 4 p.m. The nature center closes at 5 p.m.

Kids who finish the walk will get an event passport and a dinosaur toy.

Other event sponsors include the National Center for Science Education, the University of California Museum of Paleontology and the Frederick E. Hart Foundation for Educational Opportunity.

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