The enormous dinosaurs that once roamed our planet all died out about 66 million years ago. Fossils of these extraordinary animals are rare. Recently, wealthy collectors have expanded into natural history—and are acquiring unique fossil skeletons for private collections. The remains of ancient creatures are an important part of our history; they are irreplaceable and their value for science is priceless.
Footprints have many stories to tell. Humans once shared a world with giant creatures, and footprints can be a window into those interactions. From the ancient tracks found in White Sands National Park recently to those found in Africa decades ago, tracks provide reliable evidence of occupation.
Large populations of mammoths and mastodons once roamed the landscape, and their relatively young and well-preserved fossil remains are widely distributed. Notable traces of these giant animals have been found practically in my central California neighborhood.
California encompasses tremendous diversity, and this includes rocks of virtually every age, reflecting a long and dynamic geologic history. I'm fond of all types of rock, but my favorites are shales, sandstones and limestones that preserve evidence of ancient plant and animal life. The older the fossils, the more interesting.
Geologic time scales, which show a chronological sequence of events that have occurred during Earth’s history, become more or less embedded in the brains of geologists. As for other people – probably not so much. Having a rough idea of this history and familiarity with a few names, however, will be helpful if you like to think about natural history, and especially geology topics...
Saber-tooth cats with huge, gaping jaws and slashing canine teeth, were top predators that roamed around California and other parts of the Americas during the Pleistocene Epoch (from about 2.6 million to 11.7 thousand years [...]
Evidence of the Pleistocene “Ice Ages” can be found along the Sonoma Coast north of San Francisco today. On a bone-chilling cold and windy day a few decades ago, two scientists were checking out an [...]
Did you know that traces of the Pleistocene “Ice Ages” can be found north of San Francisco on the Sonoma County coast? There is a “mammoth” finding hidden in clear view there. But before I [...]