• Sierra del Carmen

    Big Bend

    National Park Texas

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Extreme Water Shortage

    Extreme water shortage throughout park. Visitors are limited to 5 gallons per day, and are encouraged to conserve further when possible. Please consider bringing your own water to the park.

Fossils

Fossil
Fossil
NPS Photo/Cookie Ballou
 

There isn't a single region on the planet that has an all-inclusive fossil history of life on Earth. This is why places like Big Bend National Park, which have an emphasis on one time frame, can contribute so much to our knowledge base. Big Bend National Park’s geologic history is not only complex and diverse, but also contains an amazing fossil record of the late Cretaceous and early Tertiary periods.

Some of Big Bend's fossil finds include bones of a pterosaur, the second largest known flying creature of all time with a 36-foot wingspan, as well as the skull of the triceratops-like Chasmosaurus, the largest known skull of any land animal. In addition to numerous dinosaurs, giant crocodiles, and other reptiles, the park has abundant fossilized wood, early mammals, and a wide variety of marine vertebrates and invertebrates.

Information on fossil site locations are often kept confidential to protect these valuable resources.

Did You Know?

Hot Springs store & post office, 1930s

J. O. Langford's development of the Hot Spring along the Rio Grande established the first resort area in the Big Bend region. From 1909-1913 and 1927-1942 the Langford family operated the Hot Spring and forged a unique border community. More...