• pond surrounded by green brush, reflecting a distant range of snow-covered mountains that are dominated by one massive mountain

    Denali

    National Park & Preserve Alaska

Other Types of Fossils

Bivalves

Bivalve (clam) shells found in Summer 2010 were the first body fossils found in the Cantwell Formation. Clams could live in freshwater or ocean water and lived on the surface or burrowed into the soft, muddy bottom.

Snail Traces

Snails and insects made little tracks in the mud when they moved across the surface. Some of these tracks were preserved and look like wavy lines, as seen on the rock slab above.

Burrows

Many animals dig into soft mud or lake bottoms to escape predators or find food. It is very hard to figure out what type of animal created a fossilized burrow, but clams, snails, and many other small creatures could make burrows.

 
composite of fossilized bivalve imprint and live bivalves
Bivalve shells
NPS Photo

Did You Know?

snowy landscape and distant snow-covered mountain

Recent climate warming has affected Denali in ways that are readily apparent, such as reduced spring snowfall, earlier snowmelt, earlier green-up and thawing of permanent snowfields. Subarctic ecosystems, like Denali, are extremely sensitive to climate variability and change.