Fossil Butte National Monument

Trip Start Mar 02, 2011
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107
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Trip End Oct 14, 2011


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Where I stayed
Antler Motel

Flag of United States  , Wyoming
Monday, July 18, 2011




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I went to Fossil Butte National Monument today. Fifty million years ago, the area that now includes the National Monument was the site of Fossil Lake, one of three lakes in what is now called Fossil Basin. These lakes left behind a rich fossil record including fish, alligators, bats, turtles, dog-sized horses, insects, and many other species of plants and animals that was first studied by scientists in the 1800's. It became a National Monument in 1972. Less than 1.5% of Fossil Basin is preserved within the National Monument. There are many commercially quarries in the area where the fossils are dug and sold to museums and private collectors.

I first went to the Visitor Center where I watched the movie about the National Monument, looked at the fossil displays and talked with the rangers. I toured the only road in the park and then stopped at one of the trailheads. It started to sprinkle a little as I got out of the car. Rather than risk getting caught in a downpour, I skipped the hike for today. That turned out to have been a wise move because it started to pour almost immediately.
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