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Mastodons

Massive fossil find in California includes mastodon, petrified forest

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As we go about our daily lives, it’s easy to forget that the places we find ourselves weren’t always the way they are now. While people driving down Highway 163 in Utah’s Monument Valley may be awestruck by the towering red rocks, they may not think about what those rocks signify — the floor of an ancient ocean. In some places, history is simply hidden by the passage of time.

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A fossil lake monster?

Located on the US/Canada border, and covering parts of Vermont, Quebec, and New York State, Lake Champlain has long been the reputed domain of a huge serpent known as Champ. Indeed, reports extend back more than 150 years. Certainly, one of the most fascinating developments in the story of Champ occurred in 1881. That was the year in which a huge skeleton was unearthed by one H.H. Burge. Of this sensational discovery, the May 27, 1881 issue of the Middlebury Register wrote: “The proprietors of the Champlain Granite Works, located near Barn Rock on Lake Champlain claim to have uncovered a petrified sea serpent of mammoth proportions, being about 8 inches in diameter and nearly fifty feet long. The surface of the stone bears evidence of the outer skin of a large serpent while the inner surface shows the entrails. The proprietors are intending soon to begin excavations along the place where it lies embedded in the dirt and granite, to ascertain its size.

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