Near Interior in Jackson County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
A 75-Million-Year Walk
This trail features seven types of animals that once lived in the area now known as Badlands National Park. Each of these lineages met a different fate as the climate changed. Some moved, some adapted to the changes, and some are now extinct. Walk the trail to learn their stories and discover how this place and its inhabitants have changed over the course of 75 million years.
As the climate changed, habitats changed. Many animals adapted to new environments. Early horses and dogs were flexible enough to survive in these new environments. These animals are each part of a lineage that evolved into modern horses and dogs.
Some animals moved to habitats that were more favorable. Tens of millions of years ago, members of the alligator family used to live all over North America, including here at what is now Badlands National Park. As the climate cooled and dried, their range shrank. Now they live in places like Florida.
Some animals could not adapt to the changing climates and habitats. Four of the groups exhibited along this trail, including the oredont, went extinct.
Erected by Badlands National Park, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Location. Touch for map. This marker is part of the Fossil Trail Exhibit. The Fossil Trail Exhibit is located 5 miles west of the Ben Reifel Visitor Center. Marker is in this post office area: Interior SD 57750, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. What a Find! (within shouting distance of this marker); Bands of Time (within shouting distance of this marker); Under the Sea (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Dying to Become a Fossil (about 300 feet away); Fight for Survival (about 300 feet away); Titanic Discovery (about 300 feet away); See Ya Later, Alligator (about 300 feet away); Off to the Races (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Interior.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
Also see . . . Badlands National Park. (Submitted on January 21, 2018, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota.)
Categories. • Environment • Paleontology • Parks & Recreational Areas •
Credits. This page was last revised on February 18, 2018. This page originally submitted on January 21, 2018, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 83 times since then. Last updated on February 18, 2018, by T. Patton of Jefferson, Georgia. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on January 21, 2018, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.