Released on 2015-05-25Categories Science

The White River Badlands

The White River Badlands

Author: Rachel C. Benton

Publisher: Indiana University Press

ISBN: 9780253016089

Category: Science

Page: 569

View: 147

This guide to the South Dakota region that houses the world’s richest fossil beds does “an excellent job of presenting the current state of knowledge” (Choice). The forbidding Big Badlands in Western South Dakota contain the richest fossil beds in the world. Even today these rocks continue to yield new specimens brought to light by snowmelt and rain washing away soft rock deposited on a floodplain long ago. The quality and quantity of the fossils are superb: most of the species to be found there are known from hundreds of specimens. The fossils in the White River Group (and similar deposits in the American west) preserve the entire late Eocene through the middle Oligocene, roughly 35-30 million years ago and more than thirty million years after non-avian dinosaurs became extinct. The fossils provide a detailed record of a period of abrupt global cooling and what happened to creatures who lived through it. This book is a comprehensive reference to the sediments and fossils of the Big Badlands, and also touches on National Park Service management policies that help protect such significant fossils. Includes photos and illustrations “A worthy successor to the work of O’Harra.” —Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology