Newly Discovered Ancient Red Panda Species Unearthed and Traveling North America With U-Haul

August 20, 2010

GRAY, Tenn., Aug. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — U-Haul today announced the release of 1,900 new 10-foot and 14-foot moving vans showcasing a newly discovered species of ancient red panda. This newest SuperGraphic also honors Tennessee’s Gray Fossil Site, which is home to the world’s most complete red panda (Pristinailurus bristoli) fossil. Scientists have uncovered more than 10,000 specimens at the Gray Fossil Site, including rhinos, elephants, alligators and camels … all preserved in an ancient sinkhole created by an underground cave that collapsed more than 5 million years ago. Known for being the largest Miocene fossil site in Appalachia, Tennessee’s Gray Fossil Site also is home to the largest number of tapir fossils found in the world.

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“It is such an honor to be chosen as the site representing the state of Tennessee for the U-Haul SuperGraphic Campaign,” said museum director Jeanne Zavada. “I believe this promotion will solidify the Gray Fossil Site’s place as a treasured natural resource, not just in Tennessee, but countrywide.”

At 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 28, 2010, U-Haul will officially unveil the Tennessee SuperGraphic as its “Venture Across America” Campaign visits the East Tennessee State University (ETSU), and General Shale Brick (GSB) Natural History Museum and the Gray Fossil Site in Gray, Tennessee, during the museum’s official three-year anniversary celebration. Guests will have the opportunity to hear from local dignitaries, receive half-price all-access admission to the Gray Fossil Site and enjoy refreshments. The first 500 guests visiting the U-Haul exhibit also will receive a free U-Haul commemorative T-shirt and informational booklet.

“ETSU paleontologists and museum staff worked hand in hand with U-Haul on the scientific details of the design of the SuperGraphic. One of the most exciting aspects of being a paleontologist is creating visual images of the past based on scientific data,” explained Dr. Blaine Schubert, director of the Center of Excellence in Paleontology at ETSU. “In this case, we worked with highly talented artists to create a U-Haul SuperGraphic that will educate the country about one of the most extraordinary fossil sites in the world.”

“We are thrilled to partner with ETSU, and GSB Natural History Museum and the Gray Fossil Site to honor and commemorate the museum during their official three-year anniversary celebration,” stated Clay McQuade, president, U-Haul Company of Knoxville. “Now, people all over North America will have the privilege of seeing and learning more about this newly discovered, ancient red panda, along with the many other creatures unearthed at the Gray Fossil Site. These ancient red pandas now have been given new life, and will be seen by many as they travel across North America on the sides of 1,900 U-Haul moving vans.”

U-Haul has been decorating its moving trucks with vibrant images featuring distinctive features of every U.S. state and Canadian province since 1988, with the launch of the “America’s Moving Adventure” and “Canada’s Moving Adventure” U-Haul SuperGraphics Campaigns. The newest SuperGraphics are part of the “Venture Across America” Campaign that highlights little-known facts about North America. Nearly 200 different images have been created since the SuperGraphics Program began. They can be viewed online at uhaul.com/supergraphics.

All-access passes to the museum are $7 for children ages 5-12, $9 for seniors 65 or older, and $10 for adults. The ETSU and General Shale Brick Natural History Museum is located 1.8 miles from the I-26 Gray Exit 13. Museum hours are 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. seven days a week. For information on the museum, call toll-free (866) 202-6223 or visit www.grayfossilmuseum.com.

    Media Contacts:

    U-Haul Public Relations
    Joanne Fried
    Ashleigh Wagner
    E-mail:  publicrelations@uhaul.com
    Phone:  602-263-6194
    Website:  www.uhaul.com/pr


Source: newswire

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