South Dakota is rich in fossil history

Okay, maybe these aren’t real dinosaur claw marks in petrified wood, but that would be a good idea, right?

For those who are serious history buffs, some may know the famous T-Rex skeleton named Sue which was found here in South Dakota near the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation; which is the most complete Trex skeleton ever found (Wikipedia).

But did you know that T-Rex skeletons aren’t the only dinosaur or fossil remains South Dakota is known for?

According to ThoughtCo., South Dakota is one of the richest states in terms of “fossil records”.

“Although it does not have the number of fossils that these states can claim, (Texas, Utah and Wyoming) South Dakota has diversity on its side. This region rich in dinosaurs has produced the Dakotaraptor, Tyrannosaurus rex, Triceratops, Barosaurus and many other species, large and small, reptilians and mammals “- ThoughtCo.

Heck, if you head “over the river” to the west side of the state, there are remains of triceratops all over the prairies. Unfortunately, many of them are damaged enough or not complete enough to form a good enough skeleton for a museum display.

Plus, if you weren’t already familiar with South Dakota, then again, especially in the western part of the state, it’s notorious for having tons of this fossil lying around.

Did you know that petrified wood is considered a fossil?

What makes petrified wood a fossil? Well, over time after a piece of wood was buried, sediment-rich groundwater flowed through the surrounding wood and dirt which replaced the original wood with silica, calcite and pyrite; thus forming the end product that we see today.

Sources:Wikipedia, ThoughtCo, and Geology.com

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