Kansas: Fossils and History


Keltin is from Kansas and so we visit fairly frequently. I’ve fallen in love with exploring the Sunflower state and the interesting things in the states close to the southwest corner of Kansas. This whole Kansas series is going to be a bit nerdy. I mean nerdy as in history and fossils.

A bit of geologic history: Kansas was at one time part of an inland sea. There are some really cool fossils to be found in the chalk layers to this day and there are a decent number of amateur fossil hunters in the state. Because of the inland sea a lot of the fossils found are from various aquatic species such as boney fish, mosasaurs, and even the rare plesiosaurus. Below is what the area might have looked like. I think I picked a representation of the correct point in the geological history, if I didn’t please let me know where to find one.

Western Kansas is now a vast plane. The few trees surround homesteads as wind breaks. The state may appear flatter than a pancake but it actually slowly rises in elevation as you move east to west. For comparison, Dallas is only 420 feet above sea level. The highest point in Kansas is Mount Sunflower at 4,039 feet above sea level (no. 1 on the map). A note on the lack of trees, any time any town or fort was abandoned or closed, the wood and other building supplies were repurposed because they were limited resources in the area.

Analog 120 film: Southwest Kansas by KW Photography

I hope that you enjoyed this very brief science lesson, it will be relevant for the posts later in this series. What fun science facts do you know about where you live? Let me know in the comments. Safe travels and leave no trace.

Thank you KW Photography for allowing me to use your wonderful photos!

Blog Signature


Success! You're on the list.

If you like the banner check out this design and others at Canva!

6 comments on “Kansas: Fossils and History”

Comments are closed.