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 “For fossils to thrive, certain favorable circumstances are required. First of all, of course, remnants of life have to be there. These then need to be washed over with water as soon as possible, so that the bones are covered with a layer of sediment.” – Richard Leakey

Hard to believe that this creature’s bones are over 200 million years old. — Photo by Pat Bean

The Bones of the Matter

It stands to reason that if conditions are right for ancient trees to be preserved, other things in the landscape will also be preserved.

 

Flowers weren’t plentiful in the Painted Desert. The landscape wasn’t encouraging for them, which is why this small patch of yellow stood out so dramatically. — Photo by Pat Bean

And of course they were, as evidenced by the dinosaur skeletons on display at the Rainbow Forest Museum, which sadly would be my final stop before exiting Petrified Forest National Park.

As dinosaurs go, well if you compare them to Sue, the Chicago Field Museum’s gigantic T-Rex, the ones that lived in this ancient forest, were on the dinky side.

The dinosaurs found here belong to the Triassic Period, the late dawn of the dinosaurs, according to the park’s fact sheets.

Two more ancient dinosaur skeletons. — Photo by Pat Bean

These human-sized dinosaurs shared the landscape, which back them was dominated by a huge river running through it, with phytosaurs and rauisuchians, words that sent me running for my dictionary. Crocodile-like is the best definition I could come up with.

Triassic, another word that left me wondering, refers to the period on earth that existed 200 to 250 million years ago.

Now, just as the age of dinosaurs had come and gone, it was time for me to leave the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest and continue traveling down the road. Flagstaff was awaiting me.

Bean’s Pat: Wistfully Wandering http://wistfullywandering.wordpress.comTake an armchair hike in Grand Teton National Park. I can’t believe I’ve missed this one.  

*This recognition is merely this wandering/wondering old broad’s way of bringing attention to a blog I enjoyed – and thought perhaps my readers might, too. The Pat on the back is presented with no strings attached. May 25, patbean.wordpress.com

 

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An anhinga drying its wings. You'll be sure to see this bird along the Anhinga Trail. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Travels With Maggie

“There are no other Everglades in the world … Nothing anywhere else is like them … the racing free saltness and sweetness of the their massive winds, under the dazzling blue heights of space …. The miracle of the light pours over the green and brown expanse of saw grass and of water, shining and slow-moving below … It is a river of grass.” — Marjory Stoneman Douglas, The Everglades: River of Grass, 1947

Turtles and a cormorant face off for space along the trail. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Turtles and a comorant face off for space along the trail. -- Photo by Pat Bean

The 0.8 mile boardwalk trail is named for the anhinga, a waterbird that swims with only its long neck and head above water. This can give it the appearance of a snake about to strike, hence it’s nickname snakebird. We saw plenty of these birds along the trail, but many other birds as well.

If you go, be sure and stay on the trail. There are more than birds that call this area of the Everglades home.

 

 
 

Beware the jaws that snatch. Photo by Pat Bean

 

 

  Everglades National Park

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