First, some warnings. If you plan to visit John Day Fossil Beds, be prepared. Road maps might make it look as if the national monument is plunk in the middle of pretty well-inhabited country with towns frequent along the roads.
John Day Fossil Beds National Monument
Surprises continue to pop up at John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in Oregon, where rodent species new to science have been uncovered. The 10 prehistoric species were found by paleontologists at the national monument and nearby public land administered by the Bureau of Land Management.
A window into the last Ice Age in the present-day desert outside of Las Vegas brings a missing link into the National Park System along with a small, but enticing, possibility that fossilized human remains are buried next to those of ancient bison, camels, and even lions.
Fossils large and small will be the stars of the National Park System next week when National Fossil Day is celebrated on Wednesday.
Many national parks preserve aspects of the past, and in the case of Fossil Butte National Monument, that past goes back 55 million years ago, a time when the landscape of western Wyoming was very different from the windswept plains we see today.
Earlier this month you no doubt heard that America's 15-year-olds' science scores, when compared to those of their peers in other countries, were just average. How might they be improved? Well, if your daughter or son enjoy visiting national parks, nudge them in the direction of a career as a scientist working in the parks.
Hidden within the sagebrush covered hills and badlands of eastern Oregon is evidence of past worlds covered by ancient forests and inhabited by strange looking beasts.
Earliest North American Beaver Thought To Have Sharpened Teeth Near Site Of Today's John Day Fossil Beds National Monument
It might not look so good to a beaver these days, but once upon a time the landscape in and around John Day Fossil Beds National Monument kept beavers happy.