The Great Plains Provide Habitat
The Great Plains were just beginning to develop. Dense woodlands were giving way to wooded grasslands. The climate became cooler and drier for a long period transforming the vegetation of the Earth to something far more like that of today. These changing environments had a dramatic effect on the lives of mammals around the world.
Time of the Mammals
Mammals, which blossomed with the disappearance of the dinosaurs, were expanding both in range and variety as land bridges between the continents allowed them to invade new territory. Here in South Dakota the Great Plains was a rich environment where many animals, ones we would identify as quite unusual, lived their lives. The first teeth noticed at the site were those of a Subhyracodon - a cow-sized rhinoceros. Another animal found was a Mesohippus - a greyhound-sized horse.
For more information about the Centennial Site click on the links below.
Excavating the Site in 2003
Excavating the Site in 2004
Jacketing Large Fossils
Moving the Jacketed FossilsCentennial Paleontology Site Overview
Read the press release about the discovery.