Article Series

Series: Park Paleontology News - Vol. 10, No. 1, Spring 2018

All across the park system, scientists, rangers, and interpreters are engaged in the important work of studying, protecting, and sharing our rich fossil heritage. Park Paleontology News provides a close up look at the important work of caring for these irreplaceable resources.

  • Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway

    Chapter 1: Paleontology of St. Croix National Scenic Riverway

    small piece of brown rock peppered with small round red shells.

    St. Croix National Scenic Riverway contains some of the most notable Cambrian fossil localities in the National Park System. Geological explorations beginning in the 1840s have revealed a fauna of brachiopods, snails and snail-like mollusks, trilobites, graptolites, burrowing animals, and others. These organisms populated the region between approximately 500 and 490 million years ago, when it was a shallow tropical sea. Read more

  • Lake Mead National Recreation Area

    Chapter 2: Paleontology at Lake Mead National Recreation Area

    2 large dark wood logs laying in a rocky landscape

    Lake Mead NRA is located a few miles east of Las Vegas, and serves as a welcome respite in the blazing heat of the Mojave desert summers. At the forefront of Lake Mead NRA’s conservational efforts are resource protection and education to visitors about the park’s desert wildlife, native fish and invasive species, and cultural history - far lesser known has been the park’s long and important paleontological story. Read more

  • National Capital Parks-East

    Chapter 3: The Paleontological Resources of National Capital Parks East

    piece of small brown stone with a honey-comb pattern

    National Capital Parks-East (NACE) was established in 1965. NACE consists of about includes about 15 parks and sites between Washington DC and parts of Maryland. The parks range from natural resource parks, to historical sites, to recreational areas. About half of the parks at NACE are known to have fossil resources and fossils in the museum collection. Read more

  • Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument

    Chapter 4: New Discoveries from Old Bones at Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument

    woman wearing black headscarf holding an owl on her outstretched gloved arm.

    Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument is a relatively small and unassuming fossil site located along the sinuous Snake River in southern Idaho. Its fossils date from the early half of the Pliocene and range in age from approximately 4.2 to 3 million years in age. The Monument is best known for its fossil horses. However, nearly two hundred species of animals have been recorded at Hagerman such as water and wetland birds, rodents, larger mammals, and many carnivorans. Read more

  • Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

    Chapter 5: Young Paleontologists Helps to Uncover the Fossil Record at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

    young woman in foreground with trays of rock slates on shelves in background

    If you’re looking for one of the most complete sections of geologic strata of the Mesozoic Era, then you must visit Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. My name is Maria Rodriguez and I am a physical science technician in GLCA. With its 1.2 million acres, Glen Canyon NRA houses a rare and valuable geological history. My work focuses mainly on vertebrate ichnology, or “fossil footprints”. Read more