Virtual Tour of the Johnston Geology Museum

STOP 8 – Great Plains Cenozoic Fossils

The Cenozoic Era began around 65 million years ago and it is the Era we live in today. At its beginning, the Cenozoic Era, was warmer than it is today. This Era is referred to as the “Age of Mammals As the Rocky Mountains began to form in Late Mesozoic and Early Cenozoic, vast amounts of sand, gravel and silt were carried away by streams and spread over the surrounding region. The Great Plains Province adjacent to the Rockies on the east was covered by thick blankets of this stream deposited debris. Fossil remains of land animals are numerous in these deposits. In many cases these fossils occur in “pockets” with numerous individuals crowded together. One might interpret this as representing watering places where thirst-crazed animals gathered in exhausted conditions during periods of drought, You may recognize a few of the fossils in this display.

Question 26: List the five different animals that are represented by fossils in the display case. This is an essay question, but you can use a list format in answering.

Question 27: Which animals outnumbers all North American fossils combined in the early Miocene?