Fossil Sites

Notable Fossil Sites:

It is interesting to contemplate an entangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent on each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us. - Charles Darwin (1859)


There are thousands and thousands of fossil sites across the earth and spanning geologic time. Here we offer information for but a tiny fraction of them, which are some of the most important, as well as those for which fossil images have been obtainable. Some are so called Lagerstätten, rare places where soft body parts and very fine details are preserved in the fossil record. Click the links in the right-most column of the the table below for additional information about different fossil sites including site descriptions and/or galleries of fossils from the localities. Geological time period links within the table go to paleobiological information about the time period.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phanerozoic EON
(544 mya to present)

"The age of visible life"

ERA
Periods
EPOCH
Fossil Site

Cenozoic Era
(65 mya to today)

Quaternary (1.8 mya to today)

Holocene (11,000 years to today) .
Pleistocene (1.8 mya to 11,000 yrs) La Brea Tar Pits
Tertiary (65 to 1.8 mya) Pliocene (5 to 1.8 mya) Colombian Fossil Amber
Miocene (23 to 5 mya) Dominican Fossil Amber
Oligocene (38 to 23 mya)

Baltic Fossil Amber
White River Badlands
Capathian Mountains

Eocene (54 to 37 mya)

Green River Formation Wyoming
McAbee, Tranquille Shale, Canada
Messel Oil Shale Lagerstatt, Germany (50Ma)
Monte Bolca, Italy

Paleocene (65 to 54 mya) .
Mesozoic Era
(245 to 65 mya)

Cretaceous (146 to 65 mya)

Divided
as:

Upper;

Middle;

Lower

Hell Creek
Fox Hills Formation
Lebanon Sublithographic Limestone
Gobi Desert of Inner Mongolia
Santana and Crato Formations of Brazil
Patagonia, Argentina

Jurassic (208 to 146 mya)

Morrison Formation, U.S.
Liaoning Province China
Solnhofen Limestone, Germany

Triassic (245 to 208 mya) Ghost Ranch, New Mexico

 

Paleozoic Era
(544 to 245 mya)

Permian (286 to 245 mya)

.

Carboniferous
(360 to 286 mya)
Pennsylvanian (325 to 286 mya) Mazon Creek Illinois (300 Ma)
Mississippian (360 to 325 mya)

Bear Gulch (318 Ma)
Crawfordsville Indiana Crinoids
(340 Ma)

Devonian (410 to 360 mya)

Bundenbach in Germany
Falls of the Ohio
Oklahoma Trilobites
Rhynie chert

Silurian (440 to 410 mya) Wenlock Series, U.K.
Ordovician (500 to 440 mya)
Russian Ordovician Trilobites
Cambrian (544 to 500 mya) Tommotian (530 to 527 mya)

Krukowski Quarry Wisconsin Ichnofossils
Burgess Shale
House Range in Utah
Pioche Formation
Kaili Formation
Sirius Passet, Greenland
Emu Bay Shale, Australia
Guanshan Fauna, China
Chengjiang China, China

 

Precambrian Time
(4,500 to 544 mya)

"deep time on earth"

Proterozoic Era
(2500 to 544 mya)
Vendian (650 to 544 mya) or Ediacaran
No Epochs

Nama Group, Namidia
Doushantuo Formation
White Sea
Ediacara Hills

Neoproterozoic (900 to 544 mya) - Late

Stromatolites

Mesoproterozoic (1600 to 900 mya) - Middle Stromatolites
Paleoproterozoic (2500 to 1600 mya) - Early Stromatolites

Archaean
(3800 to 2500 mya)

.Stromatolites

Hadean
(4500 to 3800 mya)
Earth is essentially molten, without sediment

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