Old inhabitants of an abandoned city in the USA

A photo from open sources

The city of Fossil, Wyoming, today is a real ghost town with two houses and five inhabitants. However, in addition to ghosts, in Fossil there is something else quite remarkable – lizards, stingrays and turtles with monstrously long tails, 50 million years old. During american expanding west, Fossil turned out to be an alienated city. His the real “golden age” was around the early Eocene, when the city was covered by a subtropical lake with incredible diversity water inhabitants surrounded by mountains and active volcanoes. Thousands years old dead animals were covered with mud, descending into the depths under the surface of the long-vanished Lake Fossil. Their bones mixed with silt formed by deposits of calcium carbonate from the bottom of the lake. IN ultimately, a lot of deposits formed, hundreds of feet thick, and the lowest layers were compressed into limestone. Under these mainly fish, snakes, turtles, bats are buried with plates crocodiles and otters and tree-climbing mammals that are on today has long died out and is now known as part Fossil Butte Formations. Fossil Butte is part of the Green River Formation, series of fossil lakes in Wyoming, Utah and Colorado. This is unusual repository of life from the time when our planet was recovering after mass extinction when at the end of the Cretaceous occurred events that destroyed 75% of the species of the Earth in general, and all dinosaurs in particular. Lens Grande, curator of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, collected frozen specimens of these fossils in a new book “The Lost World of the Fossil Lake: Pictures from Old Times.” The earliest fossil collections in the region were tied to railway industry but the first full-fledged hunter for the fossil was Robert Lee’s “Bone Leg” Craig, who lost his right foot in a mine accident. He worked from 1897 to 1937, processing fossils with your pocket knife and sending your finds in academic institutions such as Smithsonian and Yale universities. Samples from Fossil Bute attract paleontologists, who are especially interested in the “bone war” between Edward Drinker Cope and Otnil Charles Marsh. Cope and Marsh were the most famous in the dinosaur race in the american west but they quarreled about the taxonomy of species of stingrays, fossil remains found at Fossil Butte. Geological data not record how local species died at the end of the early Eocene. Lake Fossil has existed for 1-2 million years, and its formation contains instances of a period of several tens of thousands years, which by geological standards is a “blink of an eye.”

Sergey Vasilenkov

USA dinosaurs

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