Extinction is Forever

Lake Michigan's Left Coast reveals Paleozoic limestone and dolomite dating to the Devonian Period (420–350 million years ago). Abundant in rocks from the Paleozoic are fossilized brachiopods, marine animals with upper and lower hard shells hinged at the rear. Though they first appear in rocks dating to the early Cambrian Period (540–485 million years ago), brachiopods reached... Continue Reading →

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Coal Balls, Fossils from the Carboniferous Period

The rocks on Lake Michigan's Left Coast are incredibly rich in color, thanks in part to waves of glaciation that brought so many types of rocks to the region. Rich geological history spanning many rock-forming processes plays equal part in the palette. The warm caramel-brown swirls of these coal balls are interspersed with graphite grays... Continue Reading →

An Odd Little Creature 1

This rock is unusual on Lake Michigan's Left Coast. It appears to be an odd little creature. The limestone bedrock at here is Devonian in origin, having been laid down some 419.2 to 358.9 million years ago, so maybe it dates from that period. Directly to the north and south, bedrock is a little older,... Continue Reading →

Faces of Extinction 3

When mass extinctions occur, as they have five times previously in Earth's history, every member of a given species expires. Not just the old, the infirm, those who have a certain vulnerability. All members of the species die, even the babies. After spotting dozens of limestone skulls of extinct creatures on Lake Michigan's Left Coast,... Continue Reading →

Faces of Extinction 2

Over its 4.6 billion-year history, Earth has changed many times, in many ways. Homo sapiens, the name we give ourselves, evolved a few million years ago, a tiny point in time when Earth's conditions were just so. A peculiar trait of a certain subgroup of Homo sapiens, aka humans, put itself at the center of... Continue Reading →

Faces of Extinction 1

As children we wondered, "Why don't we see living dinosaurs?" "Because they are extinct," a parent or teacher told us. And we learned that "extinct" is an adjective meaning "of a species, family, or other larger group having no living members." (oxforddictionaries.com) We might further learn such facts as: "Species become extinct for many reasons,... Continue Reading →

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