Ready to hit the open road in search of your next great RV adventure? Why not plan to spend a day visiting Nevada's Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument. It's a great place to learn more about the fossil record in the United States.
Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument is located just outside Las Vegas, Nevada. It is within this wetland environment that fossil specimens were discovered, showing proof that the region was once home to such creatures as mammoths, lions, and camels.
Quarry workers developing the land in 1933 uncovered mammoth remains on the grounds. In honor of their discovery, the property was renamed "Tule the Baby Mammoth." This first fossil finding led to a more concentrated excavation effort by world-renowned paleontologist, Mr. Fenley Hunter, a scientist employed by the American Museum of Natural History. Decades of research was invested into the land. In 1962, the Nevada State Museum commissioned an excavation known as the "Big Dig." The Big Dig saw tunnels built that stretched up to one mile in length. During this large undertaking, a vast resource of animal fossils was found including those of mammoths, bison, camels, ground sloths, and Great North American Lions. The property also bears the distinction of being the first American site to make use of radiocarbon dating to determine the age of the fossil specimens discovered on the premises.
April 20th, 1979 saw the Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument take pride of place on the list known as the National Register of Historic Places. As of 2004, over 11,000 fossils have been discovered on the property, many of which were moved for curation at the San Bernardino County Museum. Today, this collection remains the largest and best representation of fossils from the Pleistocene era.
For a fascinating walk through ancient history, plan a trip to Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument. You'll learn lots and have a great time too.