Writters' Reports:

Burgess Shale

Kuang, May Dan
Cherry Mendoza
Mazon Creek
Danny Yu
Solnhofen Limestone
Patricia Nolan
Unknown Writer
Liaoning Province
Lori Cheng
Jing Liang
Hell Creek
Sweetie Mortensen
Nancy Nguyen
Peter Yee
Green River Formation
Lauren Bell
Kura Cohen
Rowena Kumar
La Brea Tar Pits
Joseph Laurente
Ryan Maxwell
Hadar
Jeremy HUI

When Students Shine


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Fossil Project 2002

 

Fossil Project 2002

05/07-10/02

Burgess Shale

Kuang, May Dan

In this world, there are a lot of different of fossil sites. They allow us to discover the ancient side of this world. Burgess Shale, which is one of then, has a part that is very unique. Fossils there are preserve so well even soft-part body is visible. Burgess Shale's time period the Cambrian age, which is 540 million years ago. Burgess Shale is located at an area call the Burgess Pass which is at the British Columbia's Yoho National Park. The Shale is made of of two parts; Walcott's quarry and Raymond's quarry. In Burgess Shale the fossils are really diverse, they are from different phyla they are; porifera, annelids, priapulida, onychophora, arthropods, echinodermata, chordata, aid there are also evidence of remains of bacteria, cyanobacteria, dinoflagellates, arid protista.

Porifera means holes, one kind of fossil they found was sponges. There are two kind of sponges, the choia and the vauxia gracilenta. Both of them have different characteristics. The Choia look like a sea urchin, their needle-like body stable themselves on the sea floor. They eat by feeding cells. The vauxia gracilenta basically have the characteristics as the choia but then their looks is different. They look like a network of strands. Annelids are worms. In this case, the worms that are fossilize are polychaete. They are about 30 mm in length. They probably crawl but then they are more of a swimmer, they are scavengers. Priapulida are another phyla of worms. The Ottoia worms are about 80 mm in length. They are probably the longest worm in burgess shale. They are carnivores and the fossil are preserve good; the muscle, guts and the tail-like hook. Onychophora are worm-like animals. The name is aysheaia. They are soft-body and have body size like 10-60 mm long. They probably cling on to sponges with their appendages. People believe aysheaia evolve into millipedes and centipedes. The famous arthropod found in the burgess shale is trilobites. They live so long that they extinct even before dinosaurs exist. They are hard shell and segmented animals. They are marine animals. They are very diverse, the smallest trilobite can be under a few milimeters and the biggest one can be 1-2 feet long. The normal size for a trilobite is about an inch. Whatever their size is, they have three body parts. It is the head, thorax, and a tail. Their trophic level varies for different kinds of trilobites; they can be detritivores, predators, or scavengers. Echinodermata are animals that live in the marine environment, like sea urchins and sea dollars. Chordata in this case is an example of the earliest chordata around. Their name is pikaia. Back then the chordata is like 40 mm in length they swan across the sea floor filter food. They have evidences showing them it is not a vertebrate but it has a rib-like muscle structure. The oily plant evidence found in burgess shale is an algae call the Yuknessia. They don't have a lot information about it but they have they are attach to the sea floor. The cyanobacteria they found is Marpolia. They are like twisted thread. They either can float and attach itself.

Burgess Shale's ecosystem is ocean. Back then in during the Cambrian age it is probably warm. The Cambrian age is like 540 million years ago. The location is at the Burgess Pass which is at the British Columbia's Yoho National Park. The most unique fossil they have are trilobites. They are so well preserve, sold body part is still there.

Cherry Mendoza

The Burgess Shale is "the world's most significant fossil discoveries." It is located in Yoho National Park in the rocky mountains, near Columbia and Canada (Western Canadian Rockies). Burgess Shale was named after a Cambian rock formation. This locality was discovered by Charles D. Walcott, and then the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution got involved with it. The Smithsonian Museum of National History held over 65,000 sepcimens (this was the larges collection of these types of fossils in the world ever.) Walcott named Burgess Shale rock formation after Mountain Burgess befcause it was near the area. This locality is between Mount Wapta and Mount Field. It was at the equator and it was the continental margin of North America. This locality is Middle Cabrian aged (about 540 years ago). The rocks in this locality are limestones. There are chances that this locality is in anoxic conditions because of "the lack of bioturbation (burrows, trackways, etc) and the abundance of pyrite)." There are two quarries (digging spots) on Mt. Field and Mt. Wapta. The two quarries are known as the lower Walcott Quarry and the upper Raymond Quarry. The faunas in the two digging spots are alike, but the only thing that makes them different are based on the organism found.

As you should know by now, this fossil locality is rocky since it's located in the rocky mountains. One of the quarroes, the Walcott quarry, have beddings (bed rocks). The beddings are "slightly calcareous," and pelitic. They are both salt sized grains or even smaller than that. The quarry have been weathered. The "graded" beds represent how it turned into sedimentary rocks. Conclusions were that there could be stormy events that caused mud slided that caused the soft rocks to fall deeper into the water carrying organisms along with it. Therefore, those organisms found at the very bottom are burried more and or ruined from the mud slide. A few of the fossils found in the Burgess Shale are: Anomalocaris (a large predator that is like a arthropod, it is 60cm or more), Marrella (a smaller arthropod, almost liek a trilobite, it looks like a roach), Olenoides serratus (the largest of all trilobites), Vauxia gracilenta (sponges), Tuzoia (bivalved crustacean), Ottoia and Leanchoilia (it is a worm), Opabinia (5-eyed with a trunk that looks like an elephant trunk with a claw at the end of it), and Dinomischus (a flower looking animal).

Vauxia gracilenta are sponges. It has a breaching "morphology", and it is very common in the Walcott quarry. This orgnaism shows ntohign much of a change within sponges from now. Yet, it look more liek a plant back then compared to now. The Marella is known as the "lace crab." It is the most common fossil in the Walcott quarry. This organism have many stringlooking parts spreading out from itself. The Marella is a small arthropod. It got many features. Based on one picture of the marella, you can see a "blob" made from the insides of the organism which were queezed out of the organism after it was buried. This is like a proof that shows that there must've been a mud slide that happened. The Anomalocaris canadensis is the largest of all these ancient animals and it is the most feared in the Cabriana seas. This organism have frontal appendage and claw. This predator that was like an athropod is 60cm large or more. Its claw was used to hold prey. It is foudn in the Walcott quarry. Its name means "odd shrimp." This organism was also found in other places like Australia, Canada, China, and the US. Based on oxygen priorities, the oxygen must been low in the environment because the first organisms only had small, soft bodied forms.  

Mazon Creek

Danny Yu

The locality that we are doing is Mazon Creek. The dig site for these fossils is in Northeastern Illinois, not far from downtown Chicago. The fossils is about 300 million years ago during the Pennsylvanian period. We have been searching for different type, kind of fossils, animals, plants. Most of the fossils are from Mazon Creek area of Grundy, Will, Kankakee, and Livingston counties. We found out that there is a different type of natural and man made outcrops of a rock that is called Francis Creek Shale. There are different kind of rocks, like sedimentary rock that is limestone, sandstones, and shale. The fossil is very old that is during the carboniferous period (360-286mya) in the Paleozoic Era (544-245mya). The carboniferous period is separated into the Mississippian (Lower Carboniferous) and the Pennsylvanian (Upper Carboniferous) in the United States.

Mazon Creek have a lot of different types of animals and plant fossils that looks different from each other. There are more than 300 animals and 250 plants. There are a lot of unique animals living there for instead the vertebrata it is an unidentified fish. Also the Tullimonstrum, they have a soft bodied that is round or oval. All three of the fin (tail, horizontal and dorsal fin) is triangular. It had a long proboscis and at the end is a jaw that has eight small sharp teeth. It is related to a snail and other mollusks. The Spirorbis is the small spirals on the leaf. The polychaete worm made it home and lived in the small solitary coiled tubes. The Acanthotelson stimpsoni is a shrimp-like crustacean with many legs and shells. It is a small aquantic arthropod that belongs to a group of syncarids. Also the unique plants there is Asterophyllites, Sphenophyllum, and the Calamites. The Calamite is around 30 feet tall plant that have jointed stems. Euphoberia armigera is a Pennsylvanian myriapod that looks almost like the modern relatives of the millipedes. Euphoberia is like a millipede because they both lived on land.

The environment that all the animals and plants use to live back 300 million years ago during the Pennsylvanian period, it does not like anything like today. The place was not even dry land it was very wet. There is also a lot of freshwaters caused by the storm.

After the storms the water in the river would carry deposited in the deltas and bays. The mud turned into a rock called the Francis Creek Shale. It also covered and buried the fossilize animals. The climate was tropical cause by the continental drift that why some animals and plants look different than today. Most of the plants and animals lived near the swampy areas along the rivers and in the shallow marine bays. When the animals and plants died, it would fell into the bottom of the river, then it would go into the bay or sea. Now Illinois is a pretty place that is surrounded by swampy lowlands and shallow marine bays.

Mazon Creek was famous for all the various fossils that were discovered there. Scientist had been studying from all those fossils that they had discovered from more than 150 years ago. Those fossils can help scientist see how the animals and plants were 300 years ago. Some of the fossils contain unidentified animals and plants. Most of the fossils have only hard parts of the organisms such as shells, bones, teeth, etc. that is preserved. That also means that the soft-bodied organisms that did not fossilize are also preserved. Most of the animals on the fossils are related to the somewhat modern day animals and some fossil is unidentified. The fossil that we made is not unidentified because we made the Acanthotelson stimponi fossil. It is a fossil from the Mazon Creek that is over 300 years ago. It is a shrimp-like crustacean with many legs and shells. The length of this is 67 millimeter long and 57 mm width.

Solnhofen Limestone

Patricia Nolan

The Solnhofen Limestone of Germany has provided many things toward the end of the Jurassic about 155 million years ago. It is surrounded by the most warmest shallow seas studded islands covered with the Germans sponges and corals. This coral rises in the sea forming reefs that divided up the isolated lagoons. The cyan cyanobacteria and feraminifera are the two small protist that can last the longest .in the bottom of the water.

The limestone have given lots of detail about animals that are agile soft bodied organism and also about the ones that have no fossil which include vertebrate and invertebrate animals plants and many more that are all in the world of fossils in the solnhofen limestone. The first animal that is in the limestone is the jellyfish that can grow to about 12 millimeters to more than 2 meters across. The largest is called the Cyaneaarctica that have included tentacles over 40 meters long. The next animals that are in the limestone are the dragonflies. The life of a dragon fly n the limestone is very fast it has six points molt stage depending on the altitude and latitude.

The Solnhofen limestone has the most outgoing plants that I have ever learned about because most of them provide us with our health and body warmness. Beginning with the glumflurae that has the grasses land appearance on the earth they produce tiny little flowers that provide rice, wheats., corn etc and has the largest growing crops as well as the sugar cane. The next plant is the pteraupsida that are the ferns. The ferns are the ancient lineage that include Marattiaies, Ophioglossales and Leptusporgiate these are the three groups that are still here providing oaks, ivy, beans, nuts fruits and apices for the. v-orld and also tea, coffee as well as the clothing that we wear. The Solnhofen has also provide us with the many plants that has made over the counter drugs cocaine marijuana and tobacco.

To conclude this I would like to say that I have learned a lot about the solnhofen limestone and how the many things that we eat and live of come from this place. We have learned about many different stories about were things come from but for some reason this research I believe and I know were the drugs that have the world crazy today were not made by the providers today it carne from the plants in the solnhofen Limestone.

Unknown Writer

The Solnhofen Limestone is located in the southern part of Germany near the sea and a lagoon. Solnhofen has fossils that lived during the Jurassic like 155 million yeas ago. This It was near the state of Bavaria, in the region between Nuremberg and Munich. Most of the fossils were found there and they were made out of mud. Most of the animals ark sea animals and some of the others are flying animals.

Some of the fossils were sand dollars, jellyfish, fish, and Dragonfly. They are made out of mud and they have been found near the ocean. Some of the animals that they have found or insects died in the lagoon but they had been carried down the stream and there they would get buried. A lot of the fossils that were found were near the ocean and the lagoon. In the site where I found all my information they were showing the structure of the bones and when they were found.

One of the fossils was a spider, it lives on top of the water and it died there. The body length was 49 mm, it was a Chresmoda obscura. It was modified from Barthel et. al., 1990. Some of the other fossils was a flying organism it was a Pterodactyctylus Kochi. They were like dinosaurs that looked like a bird The wing span was around 1 m. And it was modified from 1992.

Liaoning Province

Lori Cheng

The famous site of the first feathered dinosaurs was discovered in the Liaoning Province of China, which is located northeast of Beijing. The fossils found in Liaoning dated back to the Mesozoic Era of the lower Cretaceous period (120 mya) about 124 million years ago. This site has drawn many paleontologists from all over the world because it was known to be the actual site of the first discovered feathered dinosaurs. Before though, the area was a shallow lake and whatever fell into it would be buried due to volcanic eruptions happening in the Inner Mongolia within the past 100 million years. Due to that, many skeletons were preserved so well into the mudstone and volcanic ash that the shales even display traces of the animal's feathers. Paleontologists were able to recover more than 1,000 specimens, ranging from the size of pigeons to ponies.

Some of the more well known fossils found in Liaoning are Sinosauropteryx, Confuciusornis, and Protarchaeopteryx, just to name a few. Sinosauropteryx, which means "first Chinese dragon feather", is probably the most well known fossil ever found in Liaoning. Sinosauropteryx is the first non-flying dinosaur that had showed traces of downy plumage, which meant feathers had grown before flight. They had feathers, which composed of fine filaments branching from hollow quills, and also short arms, much like a bird's. They also had large, sharply pointed, teeth lined against its jaws, which meant they chewed their food before swallowing. Their lower jaws were not fused together at the chin as they are in birds but had elastic ligaments, which enabled the jaws to spread apart at their tips forming a wider gape. Confuciusornis was very bird-like and had big-quailed flight feathers and a beak. They had three functional fingers in the hand: the thumb, index and middle fingers, which supported flight. Paleontologists suggest that they might have lived in large groups on the shores of this ancient Chinese lake. They also found traces of flight feathers that were longer than its body, indicating that they evolved from the line of birds. Protarchaeopteryx had long arms, huge hands and sharp claws, which were used to capture its prey. Like the Sinosauropteryx, they had developed powerful hind limbs. Their feet showed no bones for grasping, which meant they were ground-dwelling runners, and not tree-dwelling climbers. All of these fossils belong to a group called dromeosaurs, which are fast moving creatures.

These dinosaurs lived in a forest like environment where there were lots of trees for them to fly, for those who could, and also land, for those who could not fly but ran. They did live closely by water, most likely a lake. They also lived in groups and not individually. Most of them could fly since traces of feathers were found so that meant they need space to fly in. That consists of trees and lots of land. As you know, not all of the dinosaurs could fly. Instead, they ran in an open field. During the Cretaceous period, there were lower sea levels, and high volcanic activity was present, which probably led them to become extinct. There was also more seasons changing from time to time, which caused primitive flowering plants to pop up, like anthophytes, also known as angiosperms. More flowers started to grow like magnolias and focuses, which quickly outnumbered the others. These developments drastically changed the environment of the dinosaurs.

Of course many more fossils were found at Liaoning. The ones mentioned, Sinosauropteryx, Confuciusornis, and Protarchaeopteryx were the first flying dinosaurs discovered, which brought more attention upon dinosaurs in the public eye. Their habitat is very similar to the organisms living today, like in forests; you will find many species of plants and animals. Even today, paleontologists are still trying to located more fossils that date back Mesozoic Era of the lower Cretaceous period. The discovery of these fossils only made them want to team more about the evolution of birds and dinosaurs.

Jing Liang

Liaoning is a place located in the northeast part of China. This site has volcano, rivers and mudstones. This is the site were the first flying animals were found. They were as old as 150 mya (million years ago). These fossils were dig up in fine-grained sediments. Our sites era is call the Messozic era and it happen around 150 mya. There are plenty of fossils from Liaoning of creatures that clearly could fly. One species, named Confuciusornis. has been found in large numbers and is very bird-like with big-quailed flight feathers and a beak.

There was plant fossils found in this site, showing that this site has land. One of those plants that were found in this site was call Ginkgophyta. The Ginkgophyta has long and skinny leaves and has a textured feeling of rough rather than smooth. An animal fossil found in this site was the Sinosauropteryx prima. Its name means Chinese winged reptile and was at the age of 124 mya. It is around 1 meter long. This dinosaur has a covering of fine hair-like filaments. Its tail is two third of its body length. Another fossil found in this site was the Protarchaeopteryx rebusta. Its name mean first ancient wing and its age were between 128-110 mya. This little creature is around 70 cm long. This creature has symmetrical feathers on the arms and tail and have extremely long legs and small forelimbs. This indicates that the creature couldn't fly because flight feathers must he asymmetrical and it has a skeletal structure that was unable to fly. At the end of the tail. it has a fan of feathers.

This site has shallow lakes, volcanoes, volcanic ash and mudstones from rivers. At that time there was a shallow lake and anything that fell into it was buried under mud and volcanic ash. These discoveries provide strong evidence of an evolution link between dinosaurs and birds. There are many different creatures, some as small as a pigeon and some as big as a pony. Most of the animal's feathers couldn't be use for flying. The skeletal structure of most of the dinosaurs wasn't suited to fly. They were restricted to ground. Their feathers couldn't use for flying but they were still useful. They had feathers to keep them warm from the cold, especially the smaller dinosaurs. The smaller a dinosaur was. the harder it would have been for it to control its body temperature so maybe the first feather were developed for keeping it self warm.

Discoveries from China's Liaoning Province have been given us rare glimpses of a fossil community near the boundary of the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. The featured dinosaurs of Liaoning have many common with birds and not only feathers. They have primitive wishbone, and a half-moon shaped bone in their wrists, which enables birds to flap their wings wide. There are many different featured dinosaurs found in this site. With different size and ages between 150 mya to 110 mya. Most of these dinosaurs couldn't fly but some could. Not only there were dinosaur fossils in this site, you could also find fossil plants, fish, and insect. These fossils are buried in volcanic ash and were deposited on the bottom of shallow lakes that preserved details. As more evidence of ancient life comes to light, we can refine our vision of dinosaurs and birdsas-dinosaurs.

Hell Creek

Sweetie Mortensen

Introducing hell creek. The site is Mesozoic era. Which is also called "age of reptiles." John Phillips coined it in 1840. Back then the dinosaurs dominated the earth. The Mesozoic era was the third periods. The earth was different. The continents were jammed together at the beginning of the Mesozoic era, forming the super continent of Pangaea. It started breaking apart toward middle of Mesozoic era. The beginning depleted the ecosystem worldwide. The dinosaurs were extinct 65 million years ago. Known as the "middle anima".

The fossils are small rodent size mammals, fresh fishes, lizards, turtles, salamanders and dinosaur species. The key animal fossils that represent the site is triceptops, torosaurus and tyrannosaurus. Then there's mesodma formosa which is under mammalian. Lastly there's lissodus selachos which is under vertebrate. The fossils that gives indication of the era are troodon formosus, tyrannosaurus and Albertosaurus. A bison latifrons skull fossil is over 47,500 years old, 25% larger than living bison, horn cores that spanned over 200 cm compared to living North America bison.

Some plants that are found there are bryophyte, conifers taxodiaceae and then there is angiosperm: Plantaceae. The plants that are unique are cannabacae, Ginkgo adiantoides and Nilssonia Yukonensis Hollick. Dryophllum then it is a beech/chestnut like tree. It may also be a walnut like tree.

The animals that are unique at our locality are Didelphodon vorax marsh, Lschyrhiza avoniciola Estes, and Tyrannosaurus Rex Osborbn. Other animals that were around at the time were Chasmosaurus which was 17 feet long Cergtopsian (horn frilled plant eater) from Canada 80-65 million years ago. Maiasaura a herding, duck billed dinosaur (beaked plant eater) 30 feet long from Montana 80-65 million years ago. The smallest meat eater is a Nanotyrannus the smallest Tyrannosauria from Montana 68-65 million years ago. Parksosaurus hypsilophodotid the fast moving plant eater with canine teeth that's 7 feet(2m) long from Canada and Montana in 68-65 million years ago. The range was 67 to 65 million years ago. The landscape they had was active volcanoes, highlands, seasonal weather. Lakes and rivers.

In conclusion to hell creek you will find lakes, trees, mountain (which volcano erupts and lots of different dinosaurs.

Nancy Nguyen

Hell Creek formation is a layer of rock that was deposited at the very end of the "age of dinosaurs", 67 to 65 million years ago. That was the end of the Cretaceous Period which was the period of the Mesozoic Era. The formation 1 is found in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota. It consists of about 175 meters (575 feet) of greyish sandstones and shales with interbedded lignites. The rock layer that underlies the Hell Creek Formation is called the Fox Hills Formation, and the overlying layer is called the Tullock Formation (Paleocene). In the Dakotas, the overlying formation is called the Ludlow Formation. The famous "K-T boundary" (the period straddling the great dinosaur extinction) separates the Cretaceous and Cenozoic. It's a distinct thin marker bed that is in the Hell Creek Formation near its top, giving the rock unit added scientific importance. It is the only dinosaur-bearing fossil bed that crosses it.

Since the Hell Creek Formation at the end of the Cretaceous Period, there were a lot of dinosaur type fossils found. It contains the remains of some of the very last dinosaurs including Tyrannosaurus, Ankylosuarus, Anatotitan, and Torosaurus. Hell Creek is the only known stratum of rock that crosses what is known as the K-T boundary, the layer where dinosaurs vanish from the geological record. Today, Hell Creek is a semi-arid region with numerous exposed outcrops of rock which are being constantly eroded to expose more fossil remains.

The Hell Creek formation's most famous dinosaur is probably Tyrannosaurus, the largest ever land predator. Some invertebrates that were found in Hell Creek are Plesielliptio postbiplicatus, which is a fresh water Pelecypod (fwp), Plesielliptio gibbosoides (fwp), Plesielliptio whitfieldi Russell 1976 (fwp), Rhabdotophorus aldrichi (White) (fwp), and Pleurobema cryptorhynchus (White) (fwp). There were also mammalia, lower vertebrates, dinosaurias, freshwater algae, and plants. In the dinosaurian family you can find 61% Ceratopsidae, 23% Hadrosauridae, and there are 6 other most common.

Hell Creek Formation was deposited in a well-drained, semi-tropical (humid) environment with abundant rivers and with open forests. It wasn't a swampy and seasonal weather change was very mild. In the Late Cretaceous period the area was a broad, low-lying plain, crossed by several narrow rivers and bordered by an inland sea. The climate is thought to have been mild with a high rainfall. The rivers were periodically subject to flash floods which have served to concentrate dinosaur remains. Tree remains are not common so forest cover was probably limited to the river banks. You could say that this formation is a well defined area of sediments that were at one time a lowland environment of lush forests and numerous rivers and streams.

Hell Creek is a very unique formation because there were many fossils found here and the K-T boundary line is very famous for its cause.

1 In this report, a "formation" does not mean a hill, cliff, peak, or knob, or any other rock shape. In geology, a "formation" is defined as a distinct layer of rock that is recognizable over a large geographic area, and which can be distinguished from other adjacent, underlying, or overlying rock formations by unique features, such as it's geologic age, color, composition, or grain size, to name but a few features.

Peter Yee

Hell Creek to think of it isn't such a bad idea. What about Hell creek? What is the Hell Creek? Is Hell Creek a place where people die and stay in? Long time ago we humans that are on the face of the earth today wasn't in existence while dinosaurs roamed. Dinosaurs were believed to be extinct 67-65 million years ago. Then the Hell Creek formation began. The Hell Creek formation took place during the Cretaceous Period. Hell Creek is located in Northern America at Montana, South Dakota, and North Dakota. Hell Creek is a large mass of area, which the many fossils, rocks, and other organic material that was dig up. Hell Creek is a formation. When you hear the word "formation." You might think of it as a peak, cliff, hills or even a rock shape. In geology the word formation means a geographic piece of land that is of the same nature. Such as the soil being the same, the color of the area, and the features of that area. Some of the types of rocks found in Hell Creek are rocks that were formed by ancient rivers that flowed through that area million of years ago. The Hell Creek formation wasn't like a tropical rain forest, but since it was hot and dry it was a desert. There were rocks such as mudstones, and sandstones. There are many discoveries of fossils in the Hell Creek formation. Many fossils of invertebrates were located there, and parts of animals that wasn't destroyed by nature. The Hell Creek seemed to be a lively place back millions of years because there are discoveries of a lot of things such as plants, fossils, and what was rare was the Formation had Pine Trees.

Hell Creek formation isn't just one formation, but a few. There is the "Lance Formation" which is found south of the Montana formation. The Frenchman Formation and the Scollard Formation which where all formed by ancient rivers which led units to deposit in an area to create the Hell Creek formation. What was amazing about the Hell Creek formation was that no fish fossils were discovered in the formation because the formation had began right after the dinosaurs had extinct. Since ancient rivers flowed through these formations. The river must have covered over the old land by reshaping the appearance, and the size of the area. There were lots of fossils discovered in Hell Creek. The fossils were of Avisaurus archibaldi Brett, which was a bird, the Tyrannosaurus rex Osborn, which was believed to be the most dangerous of all dinosaurs, and the Plesielliptio postbiplicatus, which are fresh water Pelecypod. Hell Creek had all the minerals the animals could of lived on. The plants that grew there since the area was very well conditions by nature. The prey that bigger predators could have hunted on, and the area size since it was pretty big. Most of the fossils found in Hell Creek were very big. Like a tooth being 6 centimeters long, Claws being 2 -5 centimeters long, and skulls that were kind of big compared to us.

Hell Creek is a land formation that has lots of hidden treasures. Most treasures are of fossils and organisms that left traces there. Some fossils that were discovered at Hell Creek were an Osteoderm, which was believed to be a Crocodyloid borealosuchus sternbergi. The Crocodyloid was believed to have been living in an area where a lot of mudstone was around. Another fossil would be the fossil of turtles. Turtles had hard fragment body parts, from this fact that their body parts were so thick must have been the environment was a place that was dangerous and wild. To adapt to this type of environment the reptiles needed a hard texture to their skin in order to survive out in the wild. In the Hell Creek formation the most common fossils found were, the Dermal plates. The Dermal plates belonged to a creature known as the Gar. Gars had many of these plates along side its body as a type of body armor. The plates that the Gars had were to create a type of flexible armor so that the Gar can move around safely, and easily. By seeing all these creatures having a thick armor skins shows that Hell Creek wasn't such a good place to be in. It shows how creatures had to have an armor type skin in order to survive. If those creatures that did not have a hard type skin, this shows they were the ones to be hunted, and eaten first.

The Hell Creek Formation isn't a creek like as in a river, but landforms that existed millions of years ago. Hell Creek was believed to have ancient rivers which where very active back then. River water brought in units that made the Creek a hit thicker with more things such as soil and different other types of creatures. By some of the facts that were researched by paleontologist, Hell Creek was, believe to be a pretty moderate place with a hot environment. The temperature of the Hell Creek was in the range of 104-112 degrees. Storms weren't so active where the formation is located, but there were some warm rainy days with hot air in the region. The air was much more cleaner then today's air with the different plants polluting the air. The oxygen during the time of the Cretaceous period was much cleaner, and much better for creatures that lived there to breathe. If you were standing there at the Hell Creek it would be like scary, since you didn't have a thick armor skin: You might be attacked by Crocodyloid, Gar or even a turtle if it was hungry. Trees weren't anything that was really popular at the Hell Creek formation since the formation was constantly covered by other organic things such as the winds blowing dirt, water washing in units.

The "Hell Creek Formation is still being monitored by Paleontologist today." New data of the Hell Creek shows that the formation may still be active. The Hell Creek is located In Montana, South Dakota, and North Dakota. At the Hell Creek formation there are fossils that have been there for more than millions of years. The fossils that were discovered shows that it was hard to survive in the Hell Creek, Because of the armor skin and plates creatures had shows that they were constantly targets of predators bigger then them. All around the formation you could see water, and lots of muddy areas. With a creature there other creatures must have been watching their own backs. Fossils of ancient creatures were what lived at the Hell Creek Formation. The time the Hell Creek formation was happening, it was the Cretaceous period, and era was the Cenozoic, right after dinosaurs had vanished from the face of the earth.

Green River Formation

Lauren Bell

One of the important fossils sites is in Utah and Wyoming ,Colorado. The fossils at the site indicate the climate was moist and subtropical . From 15-20 degrees. There were also fossilized crocodiles found, that also indicates the temperature was warm because crocodiles can only survive in warm weather.

If you visited the location you could see various types of plants as well. They have also some unknown types of plants. Many of the plants went extinct , because the lakes dried up as the climate changed. And as a result the animals died as well.

There are two hypothesis concerning the bikes (the depth). The first ones is that the lake was deep and stratified the second is that the lakes were unstratified.

The types of rock and forms are described. The major sediments that are found are oolitic grindstones, this is a grain that is found with multiple coatings of carbon or aragonite. There were packstones, oilshales, and mudstones.

They tried to determine the translation from the wastchian- Bridgerian to the time of the change in north America. They concluded that the process was between 49.7 and 50.7 million years ago and it lasted a half a million years ago (5000,000 yrs).

And to determine the level of the fossils at each period. They used radiometric dating and paleomagnestism. A method that aquires the minerals, and see when it was deposited or solidified.

The fish of the green river formation suggested that the lakes at the time were fairly deep. 60 vertebrates has been found including fish, reptiles, birds and even mammal. Eleven fossils were found. But one thing is that these fossils only came out fragmented.

I know you want to know why these fossils came out fragmented , and it gives a whole bunch of reasons why. The first of which is that they were savaged fossil disturbance, lake currents and the decomposition of the bodies prior to their fossilization. The scattered bones of the fossilized fish. This process of the decay is explained as follows. As the fish decays the currents move until it reaches some vegetation. Because of this the fish are rarely found in the same place that they died.

All this evidence shows that grandes hypothesis was right that the lake was very large ( great). The green river formation is very important because it gives the evidence to show the conditions of the green river formation during "Eocene".

Kura Cohen

The Green River Formation happened in the Cenozoic Era about 50.7 million years ago and lasted half a million years. The Green River Formation is found in western Colorado, eastern Utah, and southwestern Wyoming in the United States. Green River is flat land with lots of trees, grass, and lakes covering 25,000 square miles. The lakes are Lake Gosiute, Lake Uinta, and Fossil Lake. These lakes are where various plants and animals were buried and fossilized. The lakes have many sedimentary layers: oolitic grindstone, packstones, oil shale, and mud stones making the layers 2,000 feet thick. The fossils are between 49.7 and 50.7 million years old. The reasons that there are so many fossils buried in the lakes because the lakes dried up as the climate changed and many of the plants and animals living in Green River died and fell in the lakes. The Green River Formation is moist and sub tropical, temperature ranging from 15 through 20 degrees Celsius.

The types of fossils found in the many layers of sedimentary are vertebrates, invertebrates, and plant fossils. The vertebrates that were fossilized are fish, reptiles, birds, and mammals. The vertebrates are the most common fossils found. The invertebrates that were fossilized are snails and insects, but they are not that common. The plants that were fossilized are reeds, leaves, and wood specimens, which are also common in the Green River Formation. The most common fossils that are found are Knighta, Lepisosteus, Boredlosuchus, Platanus wymoingenis, and Icaronycterius index. The Knighta is a small fish that was found in all Green River lakes. The Lepisosteus is a large fish that was a predator because it ate the small Knighta. The Boredlosuchus is a crocodile that was found in the shallow parts of the lakes. The Platanus wymoingenis is a leaf from a sycamore tree. The Icaronycterius index is a bat. Most of the fossils that were found were in fragments and very detailed. The reason that the fossils were in fragments was because of the lake currents. The lakes had heavy currents so when the waves moved, the skeleton fossils sometimes broke apart. The reasons the fossils was left with a lot of detail of how the bones looked was because there was calcium carbonate in the water that preserved the fossils.

The Green River Formation a moist environment found in the wetter parts of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. Green River happened in the Cenozoic Era, about 50 million years ago and last about a half a million years. Green River has a lot of trees, grass, and lakes. The are three lakes and they all contain fossils, but the one with the most is Fossil Lake. There is lots of fresh water and perception making Green River a moist place where a lot of trees and plants could grow. There is also many animals that live on Green River.

The fossil that my group chose was a thorn from the Fig Tree. The thorn is a sharp pointed thing. It is approximately 7.1 millimeters long. It was used by a Fig Tree almost 48 million years ago.

Rowena Kumar

For our locality project we chose The Green River Formation, located in Western Colorado, eastern Utah, and Southwestern Wyoming in the United States. We picked this locality because of how complete and how intact the fossils of The Green River Formation were. Many of the fossils from the Eocene era were found here, which dated back to the 49.7 to 50.7 mya and lasted less than a half a million years. The composition of the Green River locality consisted of many rock layers.

The major types of sedimentary rocks was the oolitic grindstone; this rock was made up of different types of carbonate, calcite, and aragonite. These sediments are round and smooth. These sediments were usually found in shallow water.There was also packstones, oil shale, and mudstones. There wasn't very many fossils found in the sediments of the deepest layer. With in these sediments the fossils were very well preserved.

During the Eocene era there were many different types of fossils found in great condition in the Green River Formation. There were many different types of vertebrates, fish, reptiles, birds, and mammals. There was a species of snake found called Boavus idelmani and one type of mammal, Brachianodon weat-orum. The oldest know flaring mammal a bat, Icaronycterrs index, was found in Green River. The fossilized bat includes the full skeleton with cartilage and wing membrane still attached. That bat was so well preserved that the food and waste was still inside it's body. The bat was also in a position common for dead bats; the wings were folded and it's spine was in a specific angel. Since it is a river/lake there were a lot of fish that were found. The most common found fossil in Green River was a small fish, Knrghtia and a Leprosteus, a large predatory fish. These fish lived in the sub-tropic water in Green River.

The environment of Green River during the Eocene era was different from the environment today. It was a very warm and sub-tropical lake. The temperatures ranged from 15 to 20 C. Scientist believe that it was a warm climate because they found some remains of a crocodile and they can only live in warm areas. There were very many plants such as palms, cat-tails, sycamore, reeds, leaves, and wood specimens. as you can tell since it is a lake there was very little oxygen. Scientist don't really know the exact depth of the lake but the finding of the some of the fish fossils made it arguable enough to say that is was pretty deep.

The Green River Formation, found in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming, was made of many lake that are now gone. You can find many fish and even a few mammal fossils from the Eocene era ,49.7 to 50.7 rnya, in this locality. the sit is no longer as hot as it use to be but it is a good climate. This locality is unique because of the fossils found. You can find fossils such as Icaronycteris index and Knightia . So many fossils were found intact that scientist now have a better understanding of Eocene era and the transition to the Tertiary era.

La Brea Tar Pits

Joseph Laurente

The La Brea Tarpits are a natural accumulation of tar that formed over an oil seep. The dig site is located at USA, California in Los Angeles at Hancock Park, which laid beneath the surface of the Pacific Ocean millions of years ago. Millions of years ago, marine sedimentary layers formed on the site, which became rich with fossil fuels made from ancient sea life. As ocean levels drew back 100,000 years ago, the La Brea Tarpits became land. Generally, it is known as a "tarpit," but the liquid that seeps out of the ground are actually composed of asphalt and not tar. The types of rocks found in the site were sedimentary rocks, which included gravel, sand, and clay. The fossils found at the La Brea Tarpits formed 40,000 years ago during the Pleistocene epoch, which was during the Cenozoic Era and Quaternary period.

The La Brea Tarpits was a dangerous place for animals to roam around on. As the asphalt turned softer and stickier, leaves, dust and water would cover the surface camouflaging it from the animals. Animals that would pass by the tarpit would become trapped like a fly caught on flypaper, and would be prey for the carnivores that lived there. Fossils from the La Brea Tarpits have been organized in categories by what they ate, how they made food, and their relation with each other. Evidence from the fossils showed that there were producers (green plants that make food through photosynthesis), herbivores (plant eaters), carnivores (meat eaters), and scavengers and decomposers that reduce and recycle organic remains. The fossils lived in an environment with a climate that was not significantly different from the present day. The climate was slightly more humid and cooler. The world's temperate zones were covered with glaciers during cool periods. But during warm periods, the glaciers were uncovered and were moved away. Many of the plants and animals found in La Brea are identical or almost identical with species that live in the area.

The fossils that can be found in this site include the remains of herbivores such as horses, mastodons, bison, camels, and the giant ground sloth, the remains of carnivores such as mountain lions, saber tooth cats, the giant California jaguar, and dire wolves, and plant material found in the site, such as wood, leaves, cones, and seeds. Birds and other small pieces of animals have been found as well. For example, Smilodon califorhicus, the saber tooth cat, is the second most common foosil at the La Brea Tarpits. This cat was a deadly predator. It had a small tail, strong limbs, and was very muscular. Evidence from this fossil showed that it lived in groups and cared for old and sick members because the fossil showed healed injuries and diseases that could have crippled the saber tooth cat. Hundreds and thousands of its bones have been found representing a lot of them. It is the California State Fossil, but it ranged over North and South America. Another example is Canis dirus, the dire wolf. More of these fossils have been found during excavations than any other mammals. This wolf had larger teeth and shorter limbs. Evidence from this fossil showed that they hunted in packs, and got caught in the asphalt when trying to feed on other animals. Currently, they have been exterminated in Europe and in the US, but not in Mexico and Alaska. Lastly, Mummut umericanum, the American mastodon is another example of a fossil found in the La Brea Tarpits. They were half the size of the mammoths found there, and they stood eight feet tall. They also had more teeth in their jaw, which indicated that it mostly ate leaves and twigs.

In conclusion, the La Brea Tarpits is a site known for all the fossils that it has. It is located in Los Angeles, California at Hancock Park, and it was an ancient oil seep before. It's known as a tarpit, but it is really made out of asphalt and not tar. The animals that lived there were that of the Quaternary period, such as the saber tooth eats, dire wolves, and American mastodons. Back then, the climate was slightly more humid and cooler, and the fossils found there showed that the ecosystem of the La Brea Tarpits included producers, herbivores, carnivores, scavangers, and decomposers. In the La Brea Tarpits, animals have been caught by sticky and soft asphalt found on the surface of the tarpit. When animals got trapped by the tarpit other animals would try to feed on them, but they would get caught as well. Doing this lead to their death and many of their bones and fossils could be found on this site. The fossils that can be found in this site are that of horses, mastodons, bison, camels, giant ground sloths, mountain lions, saber tooth cats, California jaguars, dire wolves, wood, leaves, cones, and seeds, birds, and small pieces of other animals.

Ryan Maxwell

40,000 years ago in what we now know as downtown Los Angeles, were thick, sticky tar pits. "Tar pits form when crude oil seeps to the surface through fissures in the Earth's crust; the light fraction of the oil evaporates, leaving behind the heavy tar, or asphalt, in sticky pools". The tar was used by Native Americans as glue and waterproofing for baskets and canoes. At first the bones found there were thought to be those of cattle who wondered into the pits on accident. It was not until 1901 that there was a scientific excavation made.

Due to the plant fossils found at La Brea it can be determined that it was cooler at the time. Many of the fossils found at La Brea resemble those which exist currently in L.A. but there are also those of animals found in North America these consist of, native horses, camels, mammoths, mastodons, long horned bison and sabertoothed cats. Overall there were at least 59 species of mammal and over 135 species of birds from the Pleistocene period. Among these birds were eagles, condors, vultures and giant, extinct stork like birds. All of these were scavengers or predators, in fact 90% of the animals found at La Brea appear to be carnivores. This is most likely because of groups of predators chasing their prey to the tar pits where they would all be trapped and die, then vultures and other scavenging birds would swoop down to feast on the trapped animals and they too would be trapped.

The cream of this crop is the smilodon also known as the sabertooth tiger. It is now the state fossil of California. From the fossils found and comparisons to other large cats it is determined that it looked like a large, heavy mountain lion.

Hadar

Jeremy Hui

Radar is the the cradle of the human race. Radar was found in 1968 by a trench geologist. It is located in Fast Africa and looks like a desert like place. Africa's first fossil the hominid was found in 1923 at a site called Broken Hill. There is as much as six thousand fossils of mammals and a hominid teeth in 1974. Back then Radar was looking much like a grassland. The fossils found here in Radar is millions of years old.

During the research in 1973 then found a knee joint that then gave them. the picture that it was a hominid fossil Geologists discovered the partial skeleton of a tiny female hominid at the end of 1974 and named it Lucy. Geologist states that Lucy is 3 million years old which they found out by using stratigrahphic method. The top units of Radar date to ca- 29 million years ago and the lower units date to 3.6 million years ago. Australopithecus afarensis is known from fossils found in Ethiopia. The Australopithecus afarensis is about 3.9-3 million years ago. These beast lived in woodland areas and the Savannah. Another fossil found there that relates to the hominids is the Homo habilis skull. This fossil is 1.8 million years old and believes to have a brain size of about 590 cc. The Homo habilis skull was discovered in Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania.

The environment is grass like because the place looks as though there isn't any trees There are a lot of sediments because it is easily buried and fossilized over time. what is now a scorching desert of the Afar Rift in eastern Ethiopia. It was once a flat, grassy plain surrounded by a freshwater lake. The grassland was the home to Australopithecus garhri, sabretooth cats. primitive antelope, and a variety of now extinct animal species. Therefore if you would to visit Hadar you will find the birth place of hominids. The fossils listed above ranges from 2.6 - 2.9 million years ago. The fossils are Hominids that began here in Africa when it was once a grassland biome but is now a rainforest type.