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Fossils from Red Rock Canyon

The thick sediments in the Red Rock Canyon State Park are known to produce vertebrate fossils. Most of these fossils are the fossilized remains of extinct animals and plants that lived 8-12 million years ago when the sediments were deposited. The fossils entombed in the sediments include extinct elephants, rhinos, three-toed horses, giraffe-like camels, saber-toothed cats, and bone-crushing dogs. There are also fascinating small creatures such as ancestral skunks, martensalligator lizards, rodents, and shrews. These fossils are important resources for the study of evolution of individual organisms and their environments. A special exhibit about the Red Rock Canyon paleoenvironments is now on display in our new Age of Mammals exhibition.