• The Historic Entrance of Mammoth Cave

    Mammoth Cave

    National Park Kentucky

Fossils

Nature and Science

Mississippian-age marine fossils are found in Mammoth Cave

The Mississippian limestones of the Mammoth Cave region (300-325 million years old) formed at the bottom of a shallow saltwater sea now known as the Mississippian Sea. The marine life of that ancient sea is reflected in a range of fossils interspersed through the various limestone strata and exposed on the cave walls as caves were hollowed out. Typical fossils found in the cave include crinoids, blastoids, gastropods, and the teeth of fossil sharks.

Did You Know?

Eyeless cave fish

Creatures that spend their entire lives in Mammoth Cave adapt to the dark world. Some types of cave fish, for example, do not grow eyes – supporting these extra unnecessary organs would consume precious energy in their nutrient-poor environment.