• Two

    John Day Fossil Beds

    National Monument Oregon


Chris Schierup

Sheep Rock and the John Day River

Chris Schierup

Welcome to the Cenozoic, the Age of Mammals...

“No region in the world shows a more complete sequence of Tertiary land populations, both plant and animal than the John Day basin.” - Dr. Ralph W. Cheney

Preserved within the assemblages of the John Day Basin is a fossil record that spans over 40 million years. If each time period recorded here is a page in a book, we have an entire chapter of Earth’s history which tells the story of changing life and landscapes. Please use the following links to explore each of the fossil bearing assemblages of the John Day Basin and imagine how much life has changed in the past 50 million years.


Did You Know?

Image of fossilized alder leaves

The fossil leaves found at the Painted Hills represent an assemblage of broad-leaf deciduous trees that were growing on the edge of lakes and streams.