A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.





Thursday, September 7, 2017

Fossil Butte National Monument


Just a small little Park Service site along Highway 30 in Wyoming.
With no place to go and all day to get there I thought I would check it out.


It was a very fancy visitor center all made out of stone.  I thought I had a picture of it but I guess it didn't take.  That's what I get for using my handicapped phone for picture taking.


I stepped inside and off to my right was this wall of fish fossils.
Oh, I am going to like this place!


The opposite side were turtle fossils. BIG turtles!


These are all from what they called Fossil Lake which was the smallest at 60 miles long by 40 miles wide, of three large lakes that covered the area of Wyoming, Utah and Colorado 52 million years ago.

All leaves which had some that are familiar today such as oak and maple.


A palm frond perfectly preserved as was everything else.


Bird parts.


Whole birds.


Lots and lots of fish fossils with even the most minute bone like one you would see in a sardine preserved.  This one was unique for the big fish the size of a herring tried to swallow another fish which was too big and choked to death.  They both settled to the bottom of the lake and became a fossil.


 This was a time when mammals were flourishing along with the smaller reptile survivors.  
Notice the snake so remarkably preserved.


This was an excellent part of the center for you could watch him via the TV screen as he chipped away the rock to uncover a fossil which was a small fish about the size of a goldfish.  The tools he was using were like what your dentist uses to drill holes in your teeth or chip away plaque.  He looked through a microscope at 20x power to see what he was doing.  
Now I could do this except for one thing, the window is open and he could talk with the people explaining what he was doing and answer questions.  




6 comments:

  1. I believe I saw a BBC TV documentary about these lakes and their fossils. It's so nice to see such an interesting and necessary visitor centre, more often than not they're just places that want to sell you a guide book and a fancy T-shirt.

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  2. I could spend all day at that visitor centre, looking at the fossils. How fascinating. I'm having such a good time travelling this area with you. I wish I could pay another visit in person.

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  3. What an interesting place! You must be happy that you stopped by for a look!

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