|Alabama (Elmore County), Wetumpka — Wetumpka Impact Crater|
|The ridges located here are the remnants of a six-mile diameter circular feature created some 85 million years ago by an estimated 1,000-foot diameter asteroid. The area at the time of impact was a shallow sea. The ridges consist of a variety of metamorphic rocks and surround a central area comprised of large jumbled blocks of younger geologic strata. Drilling in the central area of the crater recovered fragments of rocks showing characteristic mineral alteration only associated with impact . . . — Map (db m67939) HM|
|Arizona (Apache County), Chambers — Painted Desert / Finding Fossils|
|The colorful mesas, buttes, and badlands before you compose a natural work of art--the Painted Desert.
Wind and running water cut these features from the Chinle Formation deposited over 200 million years ago when this area was a vast inland basin near sea level. The colors are due to ancient environmental conditions in which the sediments were originally deposited as well as the type of minerals present in the rocks.
Besides being colorful, the Chinle Formation contains a valuable . . . — Map (db m72925) HM|
|Arizona (Coconino County), Page — Dinosaur Tracks|
| The imprints were made by a one ton, twenty foot long, meat-eating dinosaur. The slab of sandstone came from a nearby side canyon.
When Dilophosaurus tracked through the silt 170 million years ago, this was a different landscape. Shallow streams meandered across a marshy plain.
Throughout Glen Canyon the red-orange layer of Kayenta sandstone appears - a lost world turned to stone, then river-cut and weathered into view. — Map (db m40326) HM|
|Arizona (Coconino County), Page — Saurischia Dinosaur Tracks|
| These tracks were made by a three-toed dinosaur known as a Saurischia therapod. It lived here about 170 million years ago during the Jurassic era when the environment was tropical. The footprints are raised natural sandstone castings of the original dinosaur tracks. After the dinosaur walked through sandy mud, its dried tracks were filled by more mud which eventually hardened into rock of the Kayenta formation. Later, the Kayenta layer tilted and spalled revealing the castings as well as the . . . — Map (db m40321) HM|
|Arizona (Navajo County), Holbrook — Agate Bridge|
|Centuries of scouring floodwaters washed out the arroyo, or gully, beneath this 110-foot (34 meter) petrified log to form Agate Bridge. The stone log, harder than the sandstone around it, resisted erosion and remained suspended as the softer rock beneath it washed away.
Enthusiastic visitors fascinated by Agate Bridge worked to preserve it through the establishment of Petrified Forest National Monument in 1906. Conservationists felt this ages old natural bridge needed architectural support . . . — Map (db m68872) HM|
|Arizona (Navajo County), Shonto — Canyons in Time — Navajo National Monument|
|The maze of canyonlands stretching before you is the continuing work of millions of years of powerful and pervasive geological forces.
Water scours and down-cuts channels in the soft sandstone plateau. The process is augmented by forces of frost, plants, and alternating expansion and contraction of the rock due to temperature changes. A gradual uplift of the land further promotes canyon-cutting by increasing the speed and cutting force of water. Flowing water is the . . . — Map (db m71515) HM|
|Arizona (Navajo County), Shonto — Dinosaur Footprint — Navajo National Monument|
|Footprints of a small dinosaur that walked on his hind legs. About 180 million years ago, he left a lasting signature by walking through the mud. The print then filled with sediment, and both print and cast (upside-down here) eventually turned to stone. Tracks of these three toed Jurrassic reptiles are very common in the limestone formations of the Navajo Country. — Map (db m71516) HM|
|Arizona (Navajo County), Shonto — Sweathouse — Navajo National Monument|
|This miniature forked-stick hogan without a smoke hole is actually a highly effective bath—an an ancient solution to the problem of keeping clean in a land where water is scarce.
Here’s how it works: Stones are heated in a fire, then rolled in, or carried in on a wooden fork. The bathers undress outside, and then crawl inside. A blanket is hung over the door opening. Now all it takes is patience while the radiant heat does its work. This is the time for relaxing tired . . . — Map (db m71517) HM|
|Arizona (Navajo County), Shonto — Upside-down Mountain — Navajo National Monument|
|Hidden away in Tsegi Canyon’s wilderness of bare rock, sand, and sparse vegetation are surprising pockets of luxuriant growth. Betatakin Canyon—home to a village of prehistoric cliff-dwellings farmers—is one of these oases. Fir Canyon, over to your right, is another.
The deeper and narrower the canyon, the less sunshine reaches into its depths. Less sunshine means less evaporation of rainwater, so plant life flourishes. You could say that the climate of Fir Canyon is like an . . . — Map (db m71514) HM|
|California (Kern County), McKittrick — 498 — McKittrick Brea Pit — California Historical Landmark|
|Located one-eigth mile west of here is ancient asphaltum seepage in which hundreds of Pleistocene (15,000 - 50,000 years ago) birds and animals were trapped. Site first explored in 1925 by the University of California, with excavation completed in 1949 by Los Angeles and Kern County Museums.
State Registered Historical Landmark No. 498
Marker placed by Kern County Historical Society, Miocene Parlor No. 228 N.D.G.W., El Tejon Parlor No. 238 N.D.G.W., and Kern County Museum. — Map (db m42707) HM|
|California (Los Angeles County), Los Angeles — Chester Stock, Ph.D. - Observation Pit — Hancock Park — Rancho La Brea|
| Panel 1: Chester Stock, Ph.D. January 28, 1892 - December 7, 1950 Paleontalogist
Chief curator of science - Los Angeles County Museum Chairman of the Division of Geological Sciences California Institute of Technology who, encouraged by the foresight and generosity of G. Allan Hancock, inspired his many co-workers in developing and preserving the treasures of Rancho La Brea Presented by the Los Angeles County Museum Association. Panel 2: Observation Pit . . . — Map (db m51436) HM|
|California (Orange County), Laguna Beach — 28 — Fossil Reef|
|Before you are the white limestone remains of an 18,000,000 year old tropical shell reef. Formed in a shallow bay. It contains fossils of scallops, clams, and tube worms. Mudstones of the same age, found nearby, held fossil whales and shark teeth. Later, as the Santa Ana Mountains rose, the rigid limestone buckled and broke along small faults. We can now see evidence that tropical seas once covered the spot where you stand. — Map (db m50013) HM|
|California (Orange County), Mission Viejo — Fossil — Whale Exhibit|
|The main exhibit displays a fossil right whale skull in profile. It was recovered from the marine siltstone member of the Capistrano Formation (3.5 to 5 million years old) in the 1970's right here in Mission Viejo. It is a fossil skull from the family Balaenidea (Bowhead Whales and Right Whales).
The vertebral column on exhibit behind the whale skull although not associated with the skull, was also discovered in the city of Mission Viejo.
This fossil, which unearthed by the Mission . . . — Map (db m72036) HM|
|California (Orange County), Mission Viejo — Whale Fossil|
| Originally dedicated on June 4, 1977 by the Mission Viejo Cultural and Heritage Association.
The Fossil was unearthed in the southern part of the city in 1976, and is a partial skull of a Baleen whale belonging to the Bowhead or right whale family.
Alive over 3.5 to 5 million years ago, this whale would have been over 58 feet long and weighed 50 tons with a skull 9 feet across and 14.5 feet long. This is the only fossil skull of this type on scientifically display in California. — Map (db m72035) HM|
|Colorado (Jefferson County), Morrison — Front Range Foothills|
|You are looking out over the edges of tilted and eroded layers of sandstone and shale that lie upon much older rocks in the mountains behind you. If the eroded layers were restored to where you stand they would be more than two miles thick. The sandstone and shale were deposited as flat layers of sand and mud in streams, lakes and shallow seas during a time that began about 300 million years ago and ended about 70 million years ago. Later, the flat layers were bent upward during the rise of the . . . — Map (db m57932) HM|
|Connecticut (New Haven County), New Haven — Othniel Charles Marsh|
|Othniel Charles Marsh
Born at Lockport, N.Y. October 29, 1831. Died at New Haven, March 18, 1899
Professor of Paleontology in Yale University 1866 – 1899
President of the National Academy of Sciences 1883 – 1895
Eminent as Explorer, Collector and Investigator in Science
To Yale University he gave his services, his collections and his estate — Map (db m50917) HM|
|District of Columbia (Washington), Foggy Bottom — GW's River Horse — [Lisner Auditorium]|
| Legend has it that the Potomac was once home to these wondrous beasts.
George and Martha Washington are even said to have watched them cavort in
the river shallows from the porch of their beloved Mount Vernon on summer evenings.
Credited with enhancing the fertility of the plantation, the Washingtons believed
the hippopotamus brought them good luck and children on the estate often attempted
to lure the creatures close enough to the shore to touch a nose for good luck.
So, too, . . . — Map (db m46980) HM|
|Florida (Brevard County), Titusville — F-486 — Windover Archaeological Site|
|Discovered by accident in 1982, the Windover site is a burial place of Early Native Americans who inhabited this region 7,000 to 8,000 years ago. The burials were placed underwater in the peat of the shallow pond. This peat helped to preserve normally perishable artifacts and human tissues. The site contains the largest skeletal sample in the New World and the oldest bottle gourd found north of Mexico - two features that add to its significance. It also includes the largest and most complex . . . — Map (db m60342) HM|
|Florida (Saint Johns County), Switzerland — William Bartram Scenic Highway|
| Within a mile and a half of this marker are numerous prehistoric sites, several of which date from 2000 BC Native Americans occupied the Northern river section from about 4000 BC until the arrival of Europeans after 1500 AD.
Riverbank settlements, permanent villages, and small seasonal campsites were common prehistoric site types. Abundant natural resources provided inhabitants with opportunities to hunt, fish and collect shellfish and plants.
By the 1770's, when William . . . — Map (db m61973) HM|
|Florida (Sarasota County), Venice — 1926 Article From "Venice News"|
|"It's a mammoth," voiced Dr. J. W. Gidley, Paleontologist of the Smithsonian Institute, 15 minutes after he first saw the fossil tusks and jaw bone of the prehistoric monster found in Venice. The size of the tusks indicates that it probably stood 14 feet high and was probably 20 feet long. Found at the same time were bones of horses, bison, mastodon, sloths and camels.
"A fair estimate of the date when this mammoth perished would be about half a million years ago," Dr. Gidley said. The . . . — Map (db m32747) HM|
|Florida (Volusia County), Port Orange — Bongoland|
|Several attempts were made to operate Dunlawton Plantation as a tourist attraction in the the 1950's Dr. Perry Sperber leased the premises from J. Saxon Lloyd for a park to display prehistoric monsters and had a number of replicas, molded in concrete on wire frames constructed. The park was called "Bongoland" in honor of a large baboon housed on the grounds an Indian village was also reproduced and a small train carried visitors around. But the day of the theme parks had not yet come and . . . — Map (db m34878) HM|
|Florida (Volusia County), South Daytona — Giant Ground Sloth|
|On this site in 1975 was found the best preserved and most complete giant ground sloth ever found in North America.
The sloth weighed three to five tons, stood thirteen feet tall and was a vegetarian.
An estimated fifty species of animals were unearthed approximately twelve feet below the surface of the ground. The age of these findings is estimated to be 130,000 years old. — Map (db m45449) HM|
|Idaho (Jerome County), Hunt — 276 — Prehistoric Hunters|
|Bone fragments of extinct species of ground sloth, horse, camel, and elephant found in a nearby cave mingle with weapons and radiocarbon dates from Idaho’s earliest hunters.|
Archaeologists have confirmed that people camped here at least 10,000 years ago, some suspect they might have arrived 6,000 years earlier. The youngest occupation layer began at 1300 A.D. and it includes figurines, baskets, moccasins and pottery---and bones of much smaller animals than those hunted by the Paleoindian pioneers. — Map (db m62963) HM
|Indiana (Franklin County), Brookville — 24.1995.2 — Brookville's Carnegie Library|
|Dedicated in 1912, starting with approximately 600 books; collections and services have expanded to meet needs of local patrons. One of 1, 679 libraries built in U.S. with funds from philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. Indiana built more Carnegie libraries than any other state. — Map (db m44694) HM|
|Kansas (Logan County), Oakley — The Monument Rocks — One of the Eight Wonders of Kansas|
Over 100 million years ago, during the cretaceous era, Kansas was covered by a vast ocean. Dramatic natural features, such as the Monument Rocks, are remains of that ancient seabed.
Since the 1870s, fossil hunters have searched the chalk beds and limestone hillsides of the Smoky Hill River region for the remains of ancient creatures. They have made some of the most significant discoveries in North American paleontology. Among the most astonishing finds were flying reptiles with a 30-foot . . . — Map (db m66099) HM|
|Kentucky (Boone County), Florence — 1253 — Boone County, 1798|
Formed by legislative act from a part of Campbell County. Names for Daniel Boone, renowned Kentucky pioneer-explorer.
Big Boone Lick, graveyard of the mammoth, was discovered in 1729 by Capt. M. de Longueil. In 1756, Mary Inglis was brought here by Shawnees, the first white woman in Kentucky. In 1765-66, extensive bone collection sent to England. — Map (db m61867) HM|
|Maryland (Prince George's County), Laurel — Dinosaur Alley|
|Dinosaurs lived during most of the Mesozoic Era (235 to 65 million years ago), on every continent on Earth. In Maryland, each of three Mesozoic time periods in which dinosaurs live is represented in its geology -- Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous. Therefore, it is not surprising that Maryland has produced more dinosaur bones than almost any other state east of the Mississippi River.
Maryland's "Dinosaur Trail" occupies the geologic region that runs parallel to the . . . — Map (db m67139) HM|
|Maryland (Prince George's County), Laurel — Dinosaurs in Maryland!|
|In 1842, English scientist Sir Richard Owen coined the term "dinosaur" to describe a group of ancient reptiles that inhabited the Earth from 230 to 65 million years ago. The discovery of the first dinosaur bones and the knowledge they reveal about the world these creatures lived in has captured the public's interest for nearly 200 years.
In 1858, miners discovered strange fossil bones and teeth in the iron-bearing clays near the Muirkirk iron furnace. Maryland State Geologist Phillip Thomas . . . — Map (db m67193) HM|
|Maryland (Prince George's County), Laurel — Welcome to Dinosaur Park|
| A Walk Through Time
As you enter Dinosaur Park you take a walk through time from the present day into Dinosaur times! Modern plants and trees give way to ginkgoes and ferns reminiscent of the early plants and tree that are fossilized here in the clay deposits. Dinosaur Park is a cooperative project between The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission and Jackson-Shaw, developer of the The Brick Yard. This joint project has enabled us to preserve these valuable fossil . . . — Map (db m67243) HM|
|Nebraska (Lancaster County), Lincoln — Mammuthus Columbi|
| Mammoths roamed Nebraska's grasslands for more than one million years before mysteriously disappearing between 11,000 and 10,000 years ago. These extinct relatives of today's elephants were the largest mammals ever to walk the Great Plains. Adult males stood more than 13 feet tall at the shoulder and had a weight of over 24,000 pounds. Mammoth bones and teeth have been found in Ice Age deposits in all but three of Nebraska's 93 counties. Bones and tusks were uncovered just 100 yards east of . . . — Map (db m54358) HM|
|Nebraska (Sioux County), Harrison — Fossil Hills Trail — Agate Fossil Beds National Monument — National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior|
|The hills held ancient secrets for paleontologists. The two hills in the distance don’t look like anything special. Even up close the untrained eye will see nothing astounding. But a sandstone layer near the bases of the hills has yielded one of the richest concentrations of fossilized mammal remains ever discovered.|
Since 1904, paleontologists have been uncovering fossil bones here which greatly contribute to our knowledge of prehistoric mammals. Today many of these fossils are studied and . . . — Map (db m62064) HM
|New Jersey (Camden County), Haddonfield — Hadrosaurus Foulkii|
|In a marl pit on the John E. Hopkins farm in October 1858, the world’s first nearly complete dinosaur skeleton was unearthed by William Parker Foulke. The find was adjacent to this point. This was also the first dinosaur skeleton to ever be mounted. The bones represented a 25 foot, 7-8 ton herbivorous hadrosaurus (reptile). Its height probably ranged from 6-10 feet at the hips. Some 55 of an estimated 80 bones were discovered. This creature lived 70-80 million years ago during the Cretaceous . . . — Map (db m29239) HM|
|New York (Albany County), Cohoes — Cohoes Mastodon|
Found September 1866
Now in N. Y. State Museum
— Map (db m40818) HM|
|New York (Albany County), Cohoes — The Cohoes Mastodont|
|The Cohoes Mastodont was discovered during the excavation for Harmony Mill #3 in 1866. The mill is sometimes referred to as the "Mastodon Mill" for this reason. When all the bones were recovered, they were kept at the Harmony Mills Office on exhibit, where they were seen by hundreds of people. The discovery was a nationwide sensation, generating considerable press coverage and controversy. In 1867, the skeleton was transferred to state ownership and exhibited in the State Cabinet of Natural . . . — Map (db m41622) HM|
|New York (Chautauqua County), Irving — Everett R. Burmaster|
|1890-1965 lived in Irving. Historian, Archaeologist, Paleontologist, BMS Curator. Seneca adopted-Gahgewa. Saved Hanover Elm & Sottle Fiddle. — Map (db m64672) HM|
|New York (Orange County), Montgomery — Mastadon Dig 1800|
|1st U.S. Science expedition remains exhibited London & Amer. philosoph. Society, Philadelphia. Dig Painted by Charles W. Peale, 1810. — Map (db m49822) HM|
|Ohio (Lorain County), Sheffield Lake — 12-47 — Jay Terrell and his "Terrible Fish"|
|Around 1867, along the shale cliffs of the lakeshore of Sheffield Lake, Jay Terrell found fossils of a "terrible fish" later named in his honor as Dinichthys Terrelli. This animal, now known as Dunkleosteus terrelli, was a massive arthrodire (an extinct, joint-necked, armor-plated fish) that lived in the Devonian sea, which covered much of eastern North America some 354-364 million years ago. Dunkleosteus was armed with an incredible set of shearing jaws and was clearly the top marine predator in the Devonian Period (the "Age of Fishes"). — Map (db m67502) HM|
|Oregon (Wheeler County), Mitchell — Fossils on the Frontier|
|Northern Paiute Indians and a few mountain men were the only residents of the John Day Country before 1860. Cavalry troops passed through the John Day River drainage looking for the best route from the Columbia River to Fort Boise. One company, under the command of Captain John M. Drake, explored along Bridge Creek in 1861. Near this spot, the troopers found the first fossilized bones and leaf-prints to come from the John Day Valley.
(Map of The Dalles—Canyon City Military . . . — Map (db m71675) HM|
|Oregon (Wheeler County), Mitchell — Painted Hills Overlook — John Day Fossil Beds National Monument|
|Through this dry land in 1865 rode a pioneer minister and amateur scientist named Thomas Condon. It was the first of his many visits. Imagine his reaction when he discovered the imprints of countless fossilized leaves near these Painted Hills, leaves of plants that could not possibly survive this modern, near-desert environment. These fossils opened a window onto vast changes in climate, plants and animals.
The colorful Painted Hills are part of the lower John Day formations, with layers . . . — Map (db m71698) HM|
|Pennsylvania (Crawford County), Titusville — Titusvillia Drakei Caster|
|In ancient seabottom rocks exposed in this stream, the Holotype Specimen of a rare fossil sponge was found by Paleontologist Kenneth E. Caster. In 1939 in recognition of the support which brought the sciences of geology and paleontology to such eminence he named this new species in honor of the oil industry's birthplace and its founder. — Map (db m64970) HM|
|Texas (Kendall County), Boerne — Cascade Cavern|
|Probably formed during the Pleistocene epoch by the
underground passage of the Cibolo River, Cascade Cavern presents an interesting mix of geological, archeological,and historical features. It exhibits a combination of the joint and the dip and strike types of caverns, and is the home of a number of unusual animals, including cliff and leopard frogs, Mexican brown bats, and Cascade Cavern salamanders.
Archeological evidence uncovered near the cave indicates the presence of two Indian . . . — Map (db m46924) HM|
|Texas (Roberts County), Miami — 2039 — Fossil Beds — (three miles southeast)|
|Cited as one of most prolific fossil fields of lower Pliocene age at time of discovery, these beds are about 13,000,000 years old. Geologists of Rio Bravo Oil Company found them in 1928 on C.C. Coffee Ranch, and their reports brought specialists from several major institutions to the area.
The fossil bones buried here included (among others) those of a prehistoric camel, a kind of antelope, horse, bone-crushing dog, mastodon and wild pig.
Further studies led scientists in 1941 to . . . — Map (db m55797) HM|
|Utah (Grand County), Crescent City — Copper Ridge Dinosaur Trackway|
| Welcome to Copper Ridge. Here, you can see the
tracks of two different dinosaurs. The larger
were probably made by an Allosaurus,
while the smaller three toed tracks were made by
one of a number of smaller bipedal carnivorous
spedies. — Map (db m39259) HM|
|Virginia (Fairfax County), Great Falls — American Indians of the Potomac River — Riverbend Park — Potomac River Gorge Interpretive Trail|
|Prehistoric people arrived along the shores of the Potomac River some 13,000 years ago. Slowly they transformed from semi-nomadic hunters into farmers and fishermen. Eventually, a group called the Nacotchtanks became the dominant tribe of the Washington D.C. area.
The Potomac River was a heavily traveled trade route by American Indians. In fact the word Nacotchtank translates to mean “at the trading town.” — Map (db m64316) HM|
|Virginia (Westmoreland County), Stratford — The Stratford Cliffs|
|Approximately 17 million years ago, during the Miocene Epoch, these 150-foot-high cliffs along the Potomac River formed the ancient seashore. Rich Miocene fossil deposits, which exist in the 1 1/2 -mile-long series of Horsehead, Stratford and Nomini Cliffs, can only be found in several locations in the world. Fossil remains of salt-water crocodiles, whales, porpoises, turtles, rays and sharks can be discovered along the shoreline. This overlook is one of a few spots along Stratford's northern . . . — Map (db m34585) HM|
|Wyoming (Crook County), Sundance — Paha Sapa, Black Hills — Geologic History of the Lakotas' Sacred Hills|
|Also known as "Temple of the Sioux," Sundance Mountain rises majestically in the southwest. It belongs to the Bear Lodge Mountain Range, which defines the northwestern edge of the Black Hills. It was named for the Plains Indians' religious ceremony—and in turn it provided the name for the town at its base, which dubbed one of its earliest and most notorious prisoners, the "Sundance Kid." In the Lakota language, the mountain is called Wi Wacipi Paha, which literally means Sun Dance . . . — Map (db m45541) HM|
|Wyoming (Crook County), Sundance — Petrified Trees — Fossils Give Clues to Wyoming's Paleo-Past|
|Giant cypress trees growing today in swamps (or forested wetlands), such as these found in Louisiana's Pointe Lake, used to grow in Wyoming back when it was a warm, subtropical swamp - about 55 million years ago during the Late Paleocene epoch. Some of these ancient trees were buried under sediment and turned to stone. the three petrified trees located here were found during coal mining operations at the Eagle Butte Mine near Gillette. They were generously donated by Alpha Coal West, Inc., and . . . — Map (db m45539) HM|
|Wyoming (Crook County), Sundance — The Vore Buffalo Jump — Hunting Large Bison Took Teamwork and Ingenuity|
|Located a short distance to the east and camouflaged by the red eroded landscape is the Vore Buffalo Jump. This sinkhole served early residents as a slaughterhouse. using the natural pit as a trap, hunters would capture bison in late fall by running a herd over the edge. Once killed, the animals were butchered to provide food and supplies for winter.|
The Coordinated Bison Hunt The hunters camped and made ceremonial preparations downwind and out of sight of the jump. Days before the hunt, . . . — Map (db m45537) HM
|Wyoming (Lincoln County), Kemmerer — Fossil Butte|
|Fossil Butte is a 50 million year old lakebed and one of the richest fossil resources in the world. It is part of the Green River Formation, a layer of rock composed of laminated limestone, mudstone, and volcanic ash. Complete paleo-ecosystems are preserved in the formation, which is the geologic remnant of the Green River Lake System of the Eocene era. Designated on October 23, 1972, Fossil Butte National Monument encompasses a part of land that was once under Fossil Lake.
Fossil Lake was . . . — Map (db m36624) HM|