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Thursday, October 02, 2003

Cretaceous Fossils

My daughter Laura and I went fossil hunting in the Smoky Hills Chalk of western Kansas in August on our way out to Colorado. Here is the website that she and I developed for her first science project of the year (FrontPage 2000, which I was fairly impressed with after having not touched FrontPage since 1997 or so).

The 1 day hunt was hot but fascinating. I was most struck by the abundance of large clams (Platyceramus platinus) that were eroding from almost every rock and under our feet. Some of these clams were 3 to 4 feet in diameter. I was also impressed by how difficult it is to spot some of the fossils and how a trained eye like our guide's could see bones and teeth from a distance. My main discovery of the day was a small mosasaur tooth pictured on Laura's site.

For more information on the types of fossils you find in western Kansas see the Oceans of Kansas web site. Hope to do it again next year.

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