• Massive petrified redwood stumps

    Florissant Fossil Beds

    National Monument Colorado

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Fossil Database (Unit 6) - Preserving the Past for the Future

Field collection is only one step in a paleontological study. Once scientists find a fossil, they must answer a variety of questions about it and record that information for future work. This information may include

  • Information about where the fossil was found, including geographic location, geological formation and unit, type of rock, and age of formation.
  • Taxonomic identification.
  • Who the collector was.
  • Paleoenvironmental information.

Many older collections do not have all of the information associated with them, which limits their use to science. Today, when fossils are cataloged into museum collections, scientists try to record as much information as possible, sometimes including the exact location in a stratigraphic section.

The Florissant Fossil Database provides a publicly available, searchable record of many of the most important Florissant fossils and some associated publications. The database is an important resource for researchers and students, as well as interested members of the general public.

Introduction to the Database

Did You Know?

leaf fossil

In 1922, Fossil Cycad National Monument, in South Dakota, was established as the third NPS area to preserve fossils, however by the mid 1930s all the fossils visible at the surface had been removed, leaving nothing for visitors to see. As a result, congress removed Fossil Cycad National Monument from the National Park System in 1957.