Craters Of The Moon National Monument and Preserve Fossils

The earliest report of bone material found within the lava tubes at Craters of the Moon dates back to the 1880s. A variety of bovine-like bones were collected from the lava tubes, but are too fragmentary or poorly preserved for definitive identification. The remains of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis), including a horn, have also been found in the monument. Packrat middens within the lava tubes contain bone material including the remains of microtine rodents. An grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) skull and femur were found just south of the old monument boundary.

In a rare example of fossils preserved in igneous rocks, dozens of tree mold impressions are preserved in the basaltic lava flows and in lava tubes. These impressions were formed as lava flowed around a fallen tree. The molds typically show shrinkage cracks. Moisture in the wood may have prevented incineration of the trees. Similar tree molds are known from other NPS areas including El Malpais National Monument, Hawaii Volcanoes National Monument, Lava Beds National Monument, and Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historic Park.

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Rising above a scene rich with extraordinary wildlife, pristine lakes, and alpine terrain, the Teton Range stands monument to the people who fought to protect it. These are mountains of the imagination. Mountains that led to the creation of Grand Teton National Park where you can explore over two hundred miles of trails, float the Snake River or enjoy the serenity of this remarkable place.
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The pika is a close relative of the rabbits and hares, with two upper incisors on each side of the jaw, one behind the other. Being rock-gray in color, pikas are seldom seen until their shrill, metallic call reveals their presence.