Posts Tagged ‘fossils’

Designated as a national monument in 1929 and not redesignated as a national park until November 10, 1978, the Badlands has one of the more interesting park names.  Once you’ve seen it, you can understand why the Lakota Sioux Indians called it Mako Sica, which has been translated as “land bad” and as “eroded land.”  French fur trappers called it  “les mauvaises terres a traverser” or  “bad lands to traverse.”  Of course, with modern roads, albeit winding ones, the trip is much easier, one anyone who has the chance should take.  But if you’re hiking, take lots of water, wear suntan lotion and a hat, and stay on the trails.

copyright janet m. webb

Yellow Mounds Overlook

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“Ashall Fossil Beds 7 miles.”  I hit the brakes as the sign flashes by and turn north.  The rolling, green hills hide a plethora of fossils, housed in an enormous building. In 1971, the skull of a juvenile rhinoceros was discovered in a cornfield.  Imagine being the person who found that!  Now the area is a Natural National Landmark, still being worked by University of Nebraska student interns as well as others.  Skeletons of rhinos, horses, and camels have been discovered.  Volcanic ash from a volcano in present-day Idaho caused lung failure in the animals who apparently gathered at the watering hole because of the heat and thirst.  Some died with fetuses inside, others with the contents of their stomachs still intact.

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These hills may contain more fossils as yet undiscovered.

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