Cincinnati Under the Sea
Free in our Ruthven Gallery
About 440 million years ago, most life on Earth existed in the oceans. Back then Cincinnati was underwater, covered by a sea that left the layers of shale and limestone seen alongside local roads today. These alternating outcrops expose fossil remains and provide scientists a snapshot into the Ordovician Period.
Cincinnati Under the Sea shows how regional Ordovician fossils contribute to our understanding of Cincinnati’s natural history—and to our understanding of Earth’s evolution. Unearth the ways organisms adapt to environmental changes and experience the depth of Museum Center’s fossil collection in this free exhibit.
Learn more about Cincinnati’s past by exploring our Ordovician Diorama, built by the noted diorama artists Henri, Paul and George Marchand in the late 1950s. Originally commissioned for the Cincinnati Society for Natural History, this rare model reflects life in Cincinnati 440 million years ago.
Click each image to download and print these coloring pages inspired by the exhibit.