Anza-Borrego 101: Desert Paleontology

Thursday, March 24, 2016 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm

Adventure 16 San Diego Store- see address at bottom of page
Free and Open to the Public

Join Anza-Borrego Foundation and Adventure 16 for part 4 of a 6-part series all about Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is the largest state park in California, with over 620,000 acres. The Park features stunning washes, palm groves, cacti and dramatic vistas. Over five hundred miles of dirt roads, free backcountry camping, and a thousand square miles of open hiking provide visitors with an unparalleled opportunity to experience the wonders of the California desert.

Part 5: Desert Paleontology

When most visitors think of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, they usually envision wildflowers, bighorn sheep, or vast arid landscapes framed by rugged mountains. Few realize that the eroded badlands of Anza-Borrego provide a contrasting view, a window into the region's vanished past. The Park was not always the arid desert we experience today.

The key to understanding this prehistoric scene is paleontology, the study of the fossilized remains of ancient life. And, Anza-Borrego has an exceptional fossil record. Over 500 different types of organisms have been identified, ranging from microscopic plant pollen and spores to the largest of mammoth elephants. Not only are the bones and teeth of long extinct animals preserved, but in some places, also their tracks.

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park® boasts an internationally significant collection of fossils from an unusual sequence of geologic events, unique to North America, and similar to only two or three other places on earth.

Paleontologist Lyndon Murray will guide you through the types of fossilized plant and animal life in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, and how those fossils came to be here. Due to the uniqueness of the area, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park contains a fossil record that includes everything from giant tortoises, camels, mammoths, and flamingoes to freshwater clams, pond turtles, and terror birds. This fossil record shows itself in many ways including fossilized trackways, oyster shell reefs and much more.

Part of the Anza-Borrego Paleontology Society’s duties include cataloging and naming each specimen brought into the lab, creating photogrammetry images of field specimens, and separating the changes in paleontological plant and animal species due to the changing topography versus global and regional weather pattern changes.

ANZA BORREGO PALEONTOLOGY: How the Local Geology & Fossils are Related
Thursday, March 24: A16 San Diego Store



Lyndon K. Murray is the District Paleontologist for the Colorado Desert District of California State Parks. He works closely with the Anza-Borrego Desert Paleontology Society to help catalog and record the unique specimens found throughout the Anza-Borrego Desert Region.

If you’ve always wanted to learn more about the hidden gems of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, don’t miss this series!

The entire series will take place at Adventure 16 San Diego
4620 Alvarado Canyon Rd.
San Diego, CA 92120
(619) 283-2374