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Top 9 Places in the USA to Find Fossils

Dhvani Dedhia Sep 20, 2019
Dinosaurs are one of the most fascinating creatures to have ever walked on Earth. Currently, there are over 700 different identified species of dinosaurs. Here are the top places in the USA where you can find fossils.

What are Fossils?

Though we are familiar with the definition of fossils, spare a thought to what fossils actually mean to us. Fossils, like pre-historic cave paintings or age-old literature, create a window for men to peak into the past.

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They are introduced to the species of animals and plants or even humans for that matter, that walked the earth, hundreds of years before.
Not only this, but fossils actually have the capacity to preserve the genetic code of living organisms for millions of years. We have all seen Jurassic Park right! (Well, who knows, it could actually come true one day, all we need to do is to excavate a dead mosquito stuck in an amber for the past million years.)

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Paleontologist, archaeologist or just fossil enthusiasts are always looking out for adventurous expeditions that might lead them to unearthing priceless fossils.
If you go globe trotting on a fossil hunt, there are numerous places around the world to find fossils.

Here is a some list of fossil sites in the USA where one can fuel their enthusiasm for fossils.

Wyoming Dinosaur Center, Thermopolis, USA

The state of Wyoming is a paleontological hot spot in the USA.
It has been a rich source of fossils excavations leading to the 'Wyoming Dinosaur Center' located in Thermopolis, Wyoming. This famous museum is home to 'Jimbo the Supersaurus', a 106-foot long Sauropod found near Douglas.
Other specimens found at the museum are 'Stan the Tyrannosaurus Rex', 'Mary the Albertaceratops', and 'Archaeopteryx' a rare view for fossil enthusiasts.

Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona, USA

The Petrified Forest Park, is located in the Navajo and Apache counties of Northeastern Arizona.
The park contains the worlds largest deposits of beautiful colored remains of petrified wood. Petrified wood is the fossilized form of terrestrial vegetation. Theses trees are transformed into stones through the process of per-mineralization. Scientist have recovered nearly hundred kinds of fossilized animals and plants in this forest.

The Mammoth Site, Hot Springs, South Dakota, USA

Find the presence of fossilized remains of various animal species and prehistoric humans buried under the grounds of South Dakota.

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The Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, contains the largest of mammoth remains in the world. Leading researcher Ross MacPhee rightly says, "the Mammoth Site is not just a window into the past, it's as close to being a true time machine as you'll find, with some of the best ice-age fossils on the planet on permanent display."

Dinosaur State Park, Rocky Hill, Connecticut, USA

In the 1960s, a happy coincidence led to the discovery of dinosaur tracks in the Rocky Hills.
Over 600 tracks were then unearthed that were latter matched to be tracks of a three-toed theropods predatory species know to us as the Dilophosaurus. Later discoveries proved that these Jurassic tracks were about 200 million years old.

Ashfall Fossil Beds, Nebraska, USA

The volcanic ash bed preserved hundreds of various prehistoric animal skeletons in the northeastern parts of Nebraska.
Unlike other fossil sites, archaeologists recover scattered skeletal remains, the ash bed of Nebraska unearthed a fascinating site where skeletal remains were found attached in their original form even after millions of years. Many paleontologist called this site a true time capsule giving humans a picture of the life form that existed long before we did.

La Brea Tar Pits, Los Angeles, California, USA

Set in the heart of urban California, Los Angeles, the La Brea Tar Pits (which translates to " The Tar Tar Pits" ) a tautology in itself , is famous around the world for its excavation of the best Ice Age fossils till date.
The park is a registered National Natural Landmark in the U.S. containing fossils of Pleistocene vertebrates, over 130 species of bird, and 59 species of mammal, dating from 40,000 to 8,000 years ago.

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Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, USA

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Other than a hot spot for filmmaking in the northern hemisphere, Ghost Ranch is popular for its famous fossil sites preserving the Triassic Dinosaurs. 'Two Little Dinosaurs', roamed the ranch around 200 million years ago.
One was named 'Coelophysis' by renowned paleontologist Edward Drinker Cope, was discovered in 1940s and the other named the Tawa Hallae was discovered in 2009.

Montour Fossil Pit, Danville, Pennsylvania, USA

If you are an adventurous fossil collector, then the fossil pits of Montour in Pennsylvania is the right place for you.
The marine fossils found in this region dates back around 400 million years to the Devonian Period. The fossils excavated in the area range from Brachiopods, Bryozoa, Corals, Crinoids, and Trilobites.

Hell Creek Beds, Montana, USA

The Hell Creeks of Montana hosts fossil preserves of ceratopsians, hadrosaurs, and other dinosaurs that date back 65 to 70 million years ago, to late Cretaceous period.
A trail of dinosaur fossils were discovered by paleontologist Barnum Brown, the man who discovered 'Tyrannosaurus Rex'. In the year 1902, Brown went on an expedition where he excavated the first ever recorded fossilized remains of Tyrannosaurus Rex.