Monday, May 30, 2011

Fossil Hunting

Here on base, in the wilds near the radar, is a nature trail complete with fossil beds in which to poke around. While in the midst of studying rocks and soil in homeschool, I decided a field trip to the fossil beds was in order.

In the "fossil bed" area, we found fossilized shells simply everywhere. Millions of them! Some were small, other the size of golf balls.

We also found dozens of bleached white complete shells. Where in the heck did these come from? They were scattered around over quite a large area and were about the size of an un-shelled peanut.

This part of Texas was mostly underwater millions of years ago in the Cambrien Period. Despite arguments from staunch Creationists that insist all the land is as it's always been and there is no continental drift, I so incredibly beg to differ. If there wasn't an ocean, sea, or lake over top of this earth in the past, how in the world did all of these shells get here?

(I won't go into an evolution/creation debate on this blog.) (Though it's tempting.) (I am a firm believer in God and educated in biology.) (I see God IN science.) (Anyway.....)

((After doing some research, I've discovered that the creationist explanation for why fossils are where they are is because during the Flood, the land was shifted, moved around, and redeposited in other places. As a Christian, I believe the Bible is the Word of God and so I know the Bible to be true. I believe there was a flood that covered the entire Earth.

So maybe they're right? Or not?)) (((There are books and books and books that refute, argue, and provide evidence contrary to every other piece of evidence. It's dizzying.)))

Paige, ever the resourceful girl, brought papers and pens for taking notes and jotting down drawings of our finds (alas, we could not take anything home with us). She also brought skewers, plastic kid knives, brushes, and a few hand trowels in case we needed to do some digging.

I think she was hoping for a pit, some dust devils, an hour of digging, and VIOLA! a brachiasaurus femur!

Well, we did none of the above, but Phoebe had a ball poking this weird, low-lying cactus with her green plastic knife.

She was not impressed by the shells in the least.

Josh remained interested for approximately six point two seconds. He would pick up an occasional shell or piece of rock that had shells imbedded in it, look at it for a fraction of a second and then throw it down again.

Phoebe didn't pick any shells, I don't think. As evidenced by this photo she was busy picking other things.

There were also numerous rocks with shells in them and even some impression fossils of plants and worms.

Ooh! It's me! Hi y'all!

Jerry's folks joined us in our fossil hunt. I got them all together for a nice desert backdropped family photo.

What exactly is going on here?

(No, Phoebe's not peeing. She had a momentary insatiable need to dance.)

(She's two. What can I say?)

Here's an example of little more modern type of shell. Hunting times are from 2000-0600 hours.

Overall the fossils were quite impressive considering we're in the middle of an arid desert covered with million year old shell fossils.

It goes to show, you just never know what you're going to find tomorrow.......