SIA2654: Fossils from an Ancient Sea

Photographer:Calvin J. Hamilton
Copyright:© 2007 Calvin J. Hamilton
Date:25 August 2005
Location:American Fork Canyon, Utah

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Fossils of marine organisms can be found on this section of canyon wall. More than 6,000 feet above sea level, these corals, shells, and skeletons suggest the magnitude of tilting and uplift that occurred here. Several of the fossils appear compacted, compressed by rocks that later overlay this rich sea bed.

The variety of fossils not only reveals the complexity of life forms, but helps assemble a picture of their environment and climate. The evidence indicates that these creatures inhabited a warm, shallow sea that covered this area of Utah -- 340 million years ago, long before dinosaurs. The sea creatures' world was a radical contrast to today's environment.

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