Kylie's Fossil Find

Young girl in hiking attire standing amid badlands formations on a sunny day.
Seven year old Kylie Ferguson found a rare saber tooth cat fossil in the Badlands

Photo by Tom Ferguson.

This is a real life story of a very important fossil that was discovered in Badlands
National Park during the summer of 2010.

During the summer, kids and their families attend junior ranger programs every day at Badlands National Park. On May 30, 2010 a seven year old girl named Kylie Ferguson went on one of these programs with her family. Her mom and dad took her to the program, along with her sister Skylar. During the program, the Ferguson family learned all about fossils.

While they were exploring the Badlands, Kylie and her mom noticed something on the ground that looked a little unusual. It was buried in a butte. It was shiny and white. They thought it might be a fossil.

Replica nimravid skull held sideways showing two long fangs
Often identified as saber tooth cats, Nimravids are in fact distantly related to modern day felines.

They did the right thing! They told a ranger. Next, they fi lled out a visitor site report at the visitor center. It turned out to be an exceptionally rare and well-preserved saber tooth cat fossil. A survey of the area led to the discovery of additional fossil material. The area is now known as the Saber Site.

Teachers As your students learn about fossils, this nonfiction story will help them understand the science of paleontology and the importance of protecting our natural resources. Furthermore, they may be able to better identify with the real life story of another young student.

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    Part of a series of articles titled Kids in Paleo.

    Badlands National Park

    Last updated: July 28, 2020