Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument - History
By Sarah Lane
Jan 24, 2005, 10:48

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Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument - Idaho

This Monument is especially significant because it serves to protect the world’s richest fossil deposits from the late Pliocene epoch period, 3.5 million years ago. Why is this important? These plants and animals are what’s left of a time before the Ice Age. Herein lies the largest group of Hargerman Horse fossils in North America, as the name suggests.

There is much to learn from this Monument by way of subjects such as Paleontology, Geology, the Oregon Trail, hydrology, and landslides.

Paleontology: Layers of sediments have preserved the Pliocene fossils leaving a location prime for excavations. Research has been conducted here since the 1930’s.

Geology: The Hagerman fossil geology has been formed primarily from the flood plain sediments of silty clays. They hold many geological secrets as these sediments range from 2.5 to 3.5 million years old.

Oregon Trail: Would you believe that the Oregon Trail crossed the southern part of the Hargerman Fossil Beds? It’s just one of three National Park locations that this trail crosses through where ruts are visible.

Hydrology and Landslides: Lastly, this park gives us reason to study hydrology and landslides as it has extremely complicated flow systems throughout the region.

For more information on this park and the many subjects that can be explored in conjunction with the Monument, visit our resource page.

Source: National Park System, Department of the Interior

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