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Provider Name:Agate Fossil Beds National Monument

During the 1890s, scientists rediscovered what the Lakota Sioux already knew—bones preserved in one of the world's most significant Miocene Epoch mammal sites.

Yet, this place called "Agate" is a landscape that reflects many influences—from early animals roaming the valleys and hills, to tribal nations calling the High Plains home, to explorers passing through or settling in the American West.

Agate staff can offer a variety of VFT experiences....from fossils to Native American culture.

The mammals found at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument date from the early Miocene Epoch some 19 to 21 million years ago. Scientists describe the Miocene Epoch as the period of time from 5 to 23 million years ago. At that time, today's Great Plains region was drying out. Flowering plants proliferated, and the abundant animals, including birds, responded to a new food source: grasslands that replaced forest and jungle. Although slightly different anatomically, some of these creatures resemble those of today. Others of these long extinct animals that succeeded the dinosaurs came in bizarre shapes and sizes that influenced people's imagined monsters of yesteryear.

Don't let the name fool you. Agate Fossil Beds National Monument features more than world-class fossil exhibits and a hiking trail to the Arikareean-age Agate Springs quarries. One of visitors' most surprising—and frequently unexpected—discoveries, the Cook Collection, has nothing at all to do with fossils. What the Cook Collection consists of is Native American artifacts the Cook family received in the late 1800s and early 1900s from close family friends like Red Cloud, Chief of the Oglala Lakota.



Contact:Contact our helpful rangers to reserve a time for the activity.
Phone Number:308-665-4110

VFTs Offered
Virtual Field Trip
Agate Fossil Beds National Monument