Marine Life of the Carmel

Carmel marine fossils
Marine fossils in the Carmel Formation; Zion Museum Collection: ZION 15710

NPS photo / Geologist-In-the-Park Scott Ireland

Marine fossils are plentiful in outcrops of the Carmel Formation in Zion National Park, showing a diverse ecosystem during the middle Jurassic. Interestingly, many of the fossils preserved in the Carmel Formation are similar to modern life in today's oceans. Fossil clams, or bivalves, and gastropods, like snails, made up the majority of the life in the 160 million year old ocean. Other fossils, such as corals, and star-shaped stems of filter-feeding animals called crinoids, can be found in the Carmel Formation deposits as well.

Learn more about the Carmel Formation

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Last updated: July 6, 2015

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