Saturday, May 30, 2009

the State Fossil


We've been here just short of a week and the wonders of Ghost Ranch continue to reveal themselves. It's taken us a while to figure out our jobs here, but we're feeling pretty confident at this point and are both looking forward to a delightful stay.

The people here are amazing, everyone is incredibly open and friendly. We were just commenting, it's kind of like when we took our very first cruise, many years ago. Everyone felt quite safe and secure, like we were all part of some shared adventure. This led to an atmosphere of openness and warmth that's hard to describe.

That's what it's like here at Ghost Ranch.

There is so much to see here, we're beginning to wonder if we can possibly take it all in. It's certainly going to be an enriching experience.

Lots to see and do, lots to learn.

While most people know that the state bird of New Mexico is the roadrunner, and the state question is Red or Green, do you know the name of the state fossil?

Well, you're in luck, because I'm going to tell you!

It's the Coelophysis, and Ghost Ranch hosts the richest digs anywhere for these dinosaurs.

Remains have been found at several sites on the property, making Ghost Ranch a destination for paleontologists world wide. The Ranch also hosts a great Paleontology museum, which boasts some amazing artifacts, not the least of which can be seen in the attached photo.

If you look closely (click to enlarge) you'll see a variety of fossils. There are several skulls, bits of feet, legs, it's like an amazing jigsaw puzzle. That's because these critters were so abundant here, literally hundreds have been found in the same fossilized rocks. It's believed that they lived in packs, and when whatever happened to suspend them in this beautiful earth, it caught a whole lot of them at one time.

And that's just the beginning of what this tiny museum has to offer.

More to come, but know for now that


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