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 . . . — — Map (db m67939) HM
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 . . . — — Map (db m72925) HM
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 . . . — — Map (db m40326) HM
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 . . . — — Map (db m40321) HM
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 . . . — — Map (db m68872) HM
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 . . . — — Map (db m71515) HM
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 . . . — — Map (db m71516) HM
This miniature forked-stick hogan without a smoke hole is actually a highly effective bath — 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 . . . — — Map (db m71517) HM
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, . . . — — Map (db m71514) HM
Within a three-foot thick sandstone bed, seen on both sides of the trail, is a layer of rock containing fossil Turritella aedificata snails. Note the slender tapered shape that has led to calling them “Tower Shells.” They are also . . . — — Map (db m200818) HM
The Blackhawk Ranch fossil quarry is located south of Rock City on the lower slopes of Mount Diablo. During the Late Miocene, approximately 9-10 million years ago, this region was a rolling lowland. It represented the first evidence of emergence of . . . — — Map (db m93648) HM
"Big Diamond", a circus elephant, expired near here in 1927. His skinned hulk was buried. Years later, his bones were unearthed and speculation arose about a
Humboldt Mastodon until investigators were enlightened
by people who'd seen the . . . — — Map (db m22274) HM
Located one-eighth mile west of here is an
ancient asphaltum seepage in which hundreds
of Pleistocene Age (15,000-50,000 years ago)
birds, insects, and animals were trapped.
The skeletal remains found in the pit include
giant condors, giant . . . — — Map (db m168958) HM
Once common across the globe, cycads are now
threatened or endangered in the wild. Explore our
diverse collection and learn about these impressive plants.
Age of Cycads
The Jurassic Period is famous for its fantastically large . . . — — Map (db m198164) HM
Chester Stock, Ph.D., January 28, 1892 - December 7, 1950. Paleontologist. Chief Curator of Science - Los Angeles County Museum, Chairman of the Division of Geological Sciences - California Institute of Technology who, encouraged by the foresight . . . — — Map (db m51436) HM
Marked this day March 20 1976, as a California Historical Spanish Colonial Landmark “In 1776 Portola encamped at the springs, part of the Rancho San Vicente - Santa Monica, known as the: 1. Junipero Serra Springs; 2. El Berrendo; 3. San Gregorio; . . . — — Map (db m122157) HM
The hills where you stand are a part of one of the world's geological wonders, The San Andreas Rift -- A great fault and earthquake zone.
Because of the movements along this fault zone, the pink and tan colored Punchbowl rocks seen . . . — — Map (db m115197)
This skull of Mixocetus baleen whale was discovered during grading of this plaza. It is the second example of the species known to science. The first was found in Los Angles in 1931.
Mixocetus was one of the largest marine animals to inhabit . . . — — Map (db m188542) HM
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. . . . — — Map (db m101952) HM
10 Million Years Ago
You are standing on what once was the bottom of a deep ocean basin. Over millions of years, geological upheaval raised the coastal plain and caused dramatic changes in the shoreline.
Mixocetus was . . . — — Map (db m195044) HM
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 . . . — — Map (db m72036) HM
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 . . . — — Map (db m72035) HM
This fossil-rich sandstone was found locally from within the Topanga Formation, which was deposited during the Miocene epoch. The fossils and sandstone were deposited in a shallow sea that once occupied this area. Fossils include clams, scallops, . . . — — Map (db m188903) HM
The dry lake bed before you was once part of ancient Lake Mojave. During the last ice age, a cooler and wetter climate produced the Mojave River. It flowed inland about 150 miles from the San Bernardino Mountains, until its waters became trapped . . . — — Map (db m83467) HM
San Francisco was an ancient river valley were creatures who grazed and browsed and stalked their prey, left their bones. (text on the horizontal surface)
20,000 years ago you could have walked to the Farallon Islands... . . . — — Map (db m92829) HM
Fossilized bones were discovered on this site in 2017 during earthwork grading operations for the Stanford Redwood City campus. The bones were found at substantial depth below the ground surface. They were determined to be from the Pleistocene . . . — — Map (db m206827) HM
The Petrified Forest, dating from the Eocene Period, is the only known example of a petrified forest in California. Its size, scope and variety of petrification is unique in the world. Opalized wood, obsidian, quartz crystal, petrified coral and . . . — — Map (db m102520) HM
The petrified forest, dating from the Eocene Period, is the only known example of a petrified forest in California. Its size, scope and variety of petrification is unique in the world. Opalized wood, obsidian, quartz crystal, petrified coral and . . . — — Map (db m175865) HM
... The discovery of the petrified forest by "Petrified Charlie" in the year 1870.
... The meeting with Robert Louis Stevenson immortalized in the book, "Silverado Squatters."
... All those others whose lives were devoted to . . . — — Map (db m102524) HM
Dinosaur Freeway Geology of John Martin Reservoir
is part of the Dakota sandstone
formations which extend from Denver,
Colorado to Tucumcari, New Mexico.
In the Cretaceous period the region
was bordered with lakes, swamps . . . — — Map (db m181091) HM
Along the western boundary of the Academy, the Rampart Range consists primarily of Pikes Peak granite that was formed more than one billion years ago. These ancient rocks did not become prominent until the early Cenozoic Era (about 50 million . . . — — Map (db m158341) HM
With just a little help from a geologist, you can see what can't be seen — and travel through time for millions of years. These rocks reveal long-gone river valleys, open oceans, and enormous volcanoes.
Roll back the clock and geology shows . . . — — Map (db m158870) HM
Birds are descendants of theropod (meat-eating) dinosaurs and their tracks look similar:
three long narrow toes with claw marks. However, bird tracks are generally smaller than most
This print is wider than long and the . . . — — Map (db m114062) HM
Dinosaur bones were deposited here on the inside of a meander by a
fast-flowing stream. This deposit known as a “point bar” grew by the addition
of sand, causing growth of the point bar towards the outer bank and
downstream. Larger, . . . — — Map (db m125104) HM
The downward bulges in the rock layers are most likely
dinosaur tracks viewed in cross section. When dinosaurs walked in soft sand
they sank in, pushing down and distorting the layers beneath their feet.
The tracks later filled in with more . . . — — Map (db m125156) HM
The tan sandstone of the Dakota Group form the crest of Dinosaur Ridge and were deposited
more than 100 million years ago during Cretaceous time along the western shore of the Western
Interior Seaway. At that time, only low hills existed to the . . . — — Map (db m125322) HM
Large palm fronds show that the climate was much warmer than that of today. Other plant and tree types found here, such as extinct relatives of sycamore, walnut, paddle-leafed ginger and an ancient relative of the avocado, lost their leaves . . . — — Map (db m114059) HM
First noted by Matt Mossbrucker and later described by Dr. Martin Lockley,
this theropod (a carnivorous dinosaur) track was part of the top layer of sandstone at
the Bone Site, 50 yards to the north. During road construction in 1937, this . . . — — Map (db m125150) HM
Triceratops: 30 feet long, 6-12 ton Herbivore
Several tracks of Triceratops or a closely related horned dinosaur were discovered in this area. Among
horned dinosaurs, Triceratops is the most likely track maker because many of its bones have . . . — — Map (db m114058) HM
Based on Late Cretaceous fossil evidence found along this trail, this area was a delta with lakes, streams and a mosaic of swamps, scrubby forests, palm tree thickets and small open areas. Impressions of logs, leaves and palm fronds suggest a . . . — — Map (db m111418) HM
Designated a Colorado Natural Area in 2002, the Dakota Hogback/Dinosaur Ridge Natural Area in Jefferson County is a crown jewel of statewide, national and international importance. The Dakota Hogback/Dinosaur Ridge Natural Area exemplifies all the . . . — — Map (db m80464) HM
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 . . . — — Map (db m57932) HM
Morrison Fossil Area has been designated a National Natural Landmark This site possesses exceptional value as an illustration of the Nation's natural heritage and contributes to a better understanding of the environment 1973 National . . . — — Map (db m155600) HM
Erected through the cooperation of Federal, State and local governments by Works Progress Administration. Dedicated to the enrichment of human lives. A record of permanent achievement. — — Map (db m155601) HM
In 1937 the City and County of Denver built Alameda Parkway as the main route to Red Rocks Park. The construction exposed dinosaur tracks, but for many years geologists and members of the public observed them without studying them in detail. In . . . — — Map (db m155602) HM
Today the Purgatoire River rolls through a rugged, arid landscape in a deeply carved
canyon—but imagine a lush conifer forest and verdant ferns right where you're standing!
Learning from the Layers
The layers of rock at the . . . — — Map (db m181056) HM
A famous discovery was made right here along the Purgatoire River! During the Jurassic Period, hundreds of dinosaurs once inhabited this area when it was a vast lake. As they plodded through the mud along the lakeshore, the dinosaurs left behind . . . — — Map (db m181254) HM
From the air, you can see
the tracks of two sauropod
dinosaurs walking side by side
along the ancient lakeshore. The
discovery that some types of
dinosaurs lived in large herds like
modern animals happened because
of parallel tracks . . . — — Map (db m181013) HM
Does the shape of Independence Monument help tell the park's erosional story? It depends on your viewpoint. From here the monolith appears to be shaped like a tower, but the sideview shows that it is the remaining piece of a rock wall between . . . — — Map (db m159647) HM
About the Diamond
The Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway (Dinosaur Diamond) is located in eastern Utah and western Colorado. Three-quarters of the 512-mile loop are within Utah. The segment within Colorado was designated the Dinosaur . . . — — Map (db m159772) HM
This family circle of fossilized stumps grew out of the single trunk of an older parent tree. The three trunks are ancient clones, or genetically identical copies, of that parent tree.
Modern coastal redwoods also reproduce by stump sprouting. If . . . — — Map (db m158485) HM
The Rocky Mountain region was much warmer 34 million years ago. The Florissant valley was forested with towering redwoods, false cypresses, pines, mixed hardwoods, and ferns surrounded by drier slopes with scrublands, shrubs, and low trees. . . . — — Map (db m158385) HM
Within a few steps is the transition from a dry meadow into a cooler forest of Douglas-fir, spruce, and common juniper. The moisture content is higher here. Though you're looking south, you are standing on a north-facing slope. North-facing slopes . . . — — Map (db m158502) HM
Standing here 34 million years ago you would probably recognize a number of plants and insects. But the year-round mild climate in the Rockies would be a surprise, as would the mammals of the time. The warm temperate forest was diverse, with . . . — — Map (db m158429) HM
As outcrops of shale weather, they separate into paper-thin sheets, exposing fossils on their surfaces. Within these delicate pages, a chapter of Earth's history unfolds.
Size played a key role in determining what was preserved at Florissant. The . . . — — Map (db m158439) HM
The three trunks of the Trio are all interconnected because they are part of the same tree! They were likely sprouts from a broken central tree, which makes them clones. The original rock matrix that buried the Trio in the late Eocene was . . . — — Map (db m158427) HM
"One of the wonders of this part of the world is the 'Petrified Forest'...between Colorado Springs and Fairplay. This remarkable relic...bids fair to disappear very shortly, unless the...tourists cease their work of destruction. Everyone must . . . — — Map (db m158483) HM
To uncover the geologic history of the Florissant region, you must peel back the surface and examine the rock layers below. Sediments are deposited layer upon layer, with the oldest at the bottom and the youngest on top. Because of this principle . . . — — Map (db m158482) HM
The Abert's squirrel inhabits this forest. It eats ponderosa pine cones and the inner bark of the twigs. It's just one of many animals that depend on the ponderosa forest for food, nesting, and cover. The fossil record also shows animals and plant . . . — — Map (db m158510) HM
Pikes Peak is the huge mountain you see across the valley. On a clear day, you can see two distinct areas on the mountain—a darker band of forest and a lighter colored treeless area. These different layers called "life zones" are a . . . — — Map (db m158493) HM
A grassroots effort
Beneath this valley is one of the richest fossil deposits in the world. Imagine instead this valley filled with a housing subdivision. There would be no open space, no trails, no scientific research, and no . . . — — Map (db m158376) HM
Core samples from Sequoia affinis fossil stumps contain remarkably well-preserved annual growth rings. Locked within those concentric rings are clues about past growing conditions in the Florissant valley.
The stumps at Florissant have . . . — — Map (db m158428) HM
In the late Eocene epoch, about 34 million years ago, the Florissant valley was buried by eruptions from a cluster of volcanoes known as the Guffey volcanic center. Huge volcanic mudflows (lahars) spread into this forested valley with great speed, . . . — — Map (db m158402) HM
Just beyond the circular wooden fence in front of you is a young ponderosa pine tree growing out of the top of an ancient petrified redwood tree stump. The huge redwood tree was buried by a volcanic mudflow and was later exposed by erosion. The . . . — — Map (db m158515) HM
Can you see the spiral scar on the ponderosa pine directly to your right? It goes all the way up and around the tree. Lightning struck this tree many years ago. Lightning and the fires it causes are natural processes in forests like this one. Fire . . . — — Map (db m158506) HM
You are standing in the Florissant valley surrounded by ponderosa pine forests. But 34-35 million years ago, this was the site of Lake Florissant. The twelve-mile-long lake was formed when volcanic mudflows dammed a stream that flowed south . . . — — Map (db m158489) HM
Rich Cultural History
The legacy of many different cultures and people can be found along the Byway. Native
American Indian tribes who lived here for centuries prior to settlement have left traces of their life ways in the earth, trees and . . . — — Map (db m153243) HM
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 . . . — — Map (db m50917) HM
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. . . . — — Map (db m46980) HM
Legend has it that the Potomac was once home to these wondrous beasts. George & 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 . . . — — Map (db m179003) HM
Triceratops roamed northwestern North America 70-65 million years ago, when the climate was much warmer and wetter. It dined on plants that included relatives of those you see here.
This cast was created from the skull of our . . . — — Map (db m113990) HM
The Florida Museum traces its roots to the 1890s at Florida Agricultural College in Lake City. In 1906, the collections moved to the UF campus in Gainesville. On May 30, 1917, the Florida State Museum became the state's official natural history . . . — — Map (db m134906) HM
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 . . . — — Map (db m60342) HM
The Bayport Area Before Human Occupation
The fossilized remains of many prehistoric animals and plants are buried in the Bayport area. During the Eocene Period, 45 million years ago (MYA), the Gulf covered this region. . . . — — Map (db m93296) HM
In the ponds in front of you one of the richest Ice-Age fossil discoveries in the world took place in 1983-84. When amateur paleontologists reported a large accumulation of fossils to the Florida Museum of Natural History, the Leisey Shell Pit and . . . — — Map (db m120625) HM
This fossil Gateway is composed of the
giant bones of a Brachiosaurus, one of the
largest creatures that ever walked the earth.
It stands fifty-two feet tall and more than
eighty feet long. A peaceful plant-eater,
the Brachiosaurus' enormous . . . — — Map (db m198209) HM
This fossil cast is an exact replica of “Sue”, the most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton ever found. Named for her discoverer, Sue was found in South Dakota on August 12, 1990. Sue is 90% complete, a fossil find of enormous importance . . . — — Map (db m76896) HM
The waters of this unusual archeological and paleontological site have yielded preserved human skeletal remains and artifacts dating from 10,000 to 3000 B.C. Animal fossils have also been recovered. Including species of extinct tortoise, sloth, . . . — — Map (db m128665) HM
Prehistoric Man Lived Here
More than 10,000 years ago prehistoric man, sabre-tooth cats, giant sloths, mammoths and mastodons lived in this area of Florida which eons later became a part of Sarasota County. Warm Mineral Springs, here, and . . . — — Map (db m128664) HM
"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 . . . — — Map (db m32747) HM
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 . . . — — Map (db m61973) HM
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 . . . — — Map (db m34878) HM
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 . . . — — Map (db m45449) HM
Cretaceous Period (65- 144 million years ago)
Southeastern United States
This scene shows a family of Lophorhothon dinosaurs, as they may have . . . — — Map (db m113593) HM
Archaeologists seek to understand people and places of the past by studying the sites and cultural remains left behind. Students from the University of Hawai'i conducted extensive excavations here between 1968 and 1970 to learn about the people of . . . — — Map (db m110325) HM
You are standing in the outlet of ancient Lake Bonneville, a vast prehistoric inland sea, of which Salt Lake is modern remnant
Covering over 20,000 square miles when it overflowed here about 14,500 years ago, its winding shoreline would have . . . — — Map (db m105831) HM
Noticeable for their distinct shapes, China Hat and nearby China Cap are rhyolite domes that intruded and pierced the basalt of the Blackfoot Lava Field. The basaltic phase of this volcanic province was active in middle Pleistocene around 500,000 . . . — — Map (db m105966) HM
Diverted into this valley by lava flows, the Bear River deposited a huge, mostly red clay delta here where it entered a vast inland sea that covered much of Utah.
About 14,500 years ago , its shoreline suddenly went down about 80 feet . . . — — Map (db m105834) HM
Idaho was a very different place during the Pliocene Epoch (three to four million years ago). Like much of the planet, this area was warmer and more humid, with annual rain fall of 20 inches. Studies of ancient pollen found in the sand and clay . . . — — Map (db m139552) HM
A trained eye, persistence - and a good deal of luck - often lead paleontologist to new fossil discoveries.
New fossil localities are discovered every year. Currently Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument monitors over 600 fossil bearing . . . — — Map (db m139609) HM
The rock layers in the bluff across the river are made of sediments - particles of sand, silt, and clay. These layers, called strata, were carried here by the ancient Snake River and were deposited as the river entered an ancient lake. This process . . . — — Map (db m139554) HM
Step back in time, three to four million years, and imagine a place were zebra-like horses, ground sloths, mastodons, and other amazing creatures roamed. Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument is filled with fossil evidence of their existence in . . . — — Map (db m139551) HM
Can you imagine mammoths walking the streets of Grangeville? Before Sept. 2, 1994, no one else could either. But on that date, a heavy equipment operator for Prairie Land and Timber, found a "big bone" when he was digging in Tolo Lake. That . . . — — Map (db m141309) HM
(Three panels outline the history of Tolo Lake)
The Nez Perce name for this lake is Tipahxlee’whum (Tepahlewam or Split Rocks). In early June 1877, five bands of Nimiipuu gathered here for their last taste of freedom before . . . — — Map (db m121267) HM
You're looking up at a full-size replica of the skeleton of a male Columbian mammoth. Mammoths are related to modern Asian elephants. Males stood up to 14 feet tall at the shoulders and may have weighed 10 tons. Females were . . . — — Map (db m141310) HM
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 . . . — — Map (db m62963) HM
(Lester Frank Ward panel:)
The American Aristotle
The last of ten children, Lester Frank Ward (1841-1913) was born in Joliet, at Joliet and Benton streets. His father owned a quarry at what is now the site of the Illinois State . . . — — Map (db m157403) HM
By the Way: Lewis and Clark began their famous expedition from this area on October 26, 1803.
Almost 400 million years ago, during the Devonian age, future states Indiana and Kentucky were asleep beneath a warm tropical sea, located about . . . — — Map (db m206956) HM
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