As Matthew Bucci, 11, studied a small fossil, he came to a conclusion about the creature’s remains.
“You can see that it’s most likely related to a horseshoe crab,” said the young dinosaur enthusiast from Levittown.
His mother Joanne Bucci, 42, of Levittown, watched him talk about fossils, and with a laugh said Matthew was always fascinated with dinosaurs.
“I want to be a paleontologist when I grow up,” her son said with a proud smile.
Matthew was not alone in his passion for dinosaurs as hundreds showed up Saturday at Garvies Point Museum & Preserve in Glen Cove for its third annual Dinosaur Day.
The event, which organizers said draws between 200 and 250 people annually, featured fossil exhibits from the Triassic Era and plenty of activities for young dinosaur fans.
Children used paintbrushes to sweep sand away from dinosaur bones, created their own fossils and took pictures with a replica Coelophysis dinosaur.
Thomas Natale, 9, one of the event’s volunteers, said his favorite dinosaur was the raptor for its size, speed and intelligence. But he warned that the “Jurassic Park” movie that famously featured raptors “isn’t accurate.”
“When the kids were running from them, the raptors could have easily caught up to them,” he said.
Bob Slatkin, 81, and his wife Roberta, both of Dix Hills, were watching their 6-year-old grandson Dan Slatkin play with some of the other children near the sand pit. The Slatkins said the event was a fun way for them to spend quality time with their grandson, who was visiting from Israel.
“The best thing about it is that the exhibits are hands-on and they can touch everything,” Roberta Slatkin said, as she hugged her grandson, who shyly nodded when asked if he liked dinosaurs.
William “Brimstone” Kucmierowski, 42, of Levittown, was spending the day with his wife, Danielle, 33, and their two children.
“She loves it,” Kucmierowski said as he watched his daughter, Hailey, 6, sweep sand off dinosaur bones. “And it’s just nice to spend the day with the kids.”