The Roundup -

Fossils Moved To Museum


This crocodile skull can now be viewed at the Pioneer Museum in Watford City.

Thanks to the work of the North Dakota Geological Survey, a new exhibit is available for viewing at the Pioneer Museum located in Watford City.

The exhibit features rocks and fossils from the area more than 60 million years ago.

Clint Boyd, senior paleontologist, and Jeff Person, paleontologist, explain the exhibit was located at the Forest Service, but there wasn't room for it in the Forest Service's new building.

"The exhibit has a crocodile skull and all types of other fossils as well," Boyd said. "They are all North Dakota fossils."

There will be exhibit cards available regarding all specimens.

"It's right at the time that dinosaurs were becoming extinct," Boyd said of the period that the fossils come from. "At that time, crocodiles were the main predator in the area that was a swamping environment."

They said the last evidence of an alligator or crocodile in North Dakota was from about 30 million years ago.

"That's why we know it was a swamping environment because of the fossils and rocks found here," Person said. "That's how we research things."

The paleontologists explain that about 34 million years ago, the area changed from a hot environment to a cool and dry environment.

The Pioneer Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and from 1-5 p.m. on Sundays until Labor Day.


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