The next Sunday with a Scientist program for children and families will focus on The Great Miocene Bonebed at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, Nebraska.
Join Vertebrate Paleontology Curator Emeritus Bob Hunt; Rob Skolnick, the State Museum's Vertebrate Paleontology Preparator; and Paleontologist Ellen Stepleton on a journey back in time to the Miocene epoch, 23 million years ago, when northwestern Nebraska resembled today's Serengeti. Learn about the strange mammals that lived and died here, and explore the mystery of the great Agate bonebed which preserves thousands of fossil mammal bones.
In August 1904, Carnegie Museum paleontologist Olaf Peterson visited the Agate Springs ranch in northwestern Nebraska, and was the first to recognize the great fossil bonebed there.
From 1904 through 1923 several major museums, including the University of Nebraska State Museum (UNSM) quarried this amazing bonebed which produced large blocks of sandstone which were unbelievably rich with fossil mammal bones. In the 1980's UNSM paleontologists mapped the regional geology and reopened the Agate quarries in order to solve the mystery of how the Agate bonebed formed. During this exploration the world's oldest large fossil carnivore dens were discovered at Agate.