Red Rock Canyon A to Z

F: Fossils

A long time ago, Red Rock Canyon was under water. We know this from the fossilized remains of ocean floor life found throughout many areas of Red Rock Canyon. You can find fossilized remains of corals, crinoids, blue-green bacteria, and sponges within a lot of the older limestone and dolomite rocks. Recent fossil discoveries include prehistoric foot prints of dinosaurs, mammals, and insects. Fossils are created when a plant or animal is buried quickly and the living material is eventually replaced with minerals, and the covering material totally encases the plant or animal and hardens around it forming a mold. Major events like upheaval of landmasses and sediment shifts often trapped animal & plant life, leaving behind many fossils. Good places to look for fossils include the Blue Diamond hills on the east side of SR-159, the hills along Cottonwood Valley south of SR-160, and the tops of the limestone mountains west behind the Red Rock Escarpment. Please only take pictures and keep any fossils on the ground for other visitors to enjoy.

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