In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the California Desert Protection Act, Red Rock Canyon State Park officials will present a talk on fossils of the Western Mojave by noted Paleontologist Dr. Xiaoming Wang on Saturday, October 26 at 7 p.m.
Dr. Wang, Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, will speak on the Western Mojave Desert Geology and Vertebrate Paleontology of the El Paso Mountain Area, which includes Red Rock Canyon State Park.
The geological wonderland of Red Rock Canyon State Park has yielded a treasure trove of scientific discoveries in the fields of botany, zoology, geology and more.
One of the more significant scientific arenas is paleontology, as Red Rock Canyon contains a rich history of fossils including prehistoric camels, horses, rhinoceros, oreodonts, saber-toothed cats, elephant-like gomphothere tusks, and an ancient predecessor to the modern-day skunk, just to name a few.
The desert landscape is an ideal locale to preserve these treasures (collection of the fossils without a permit is illegal).
Providing a window into worlds of the past, the protected fossil heritage of Red Rock Canyon has been studied for over a century. In fact, the first detailed study of this fossil heritage was published 100 years ago in 1919.
For almost 50 years California State Parks has partnered with the paleontologists at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History to professionally collect and study Red Rock’s fossils under a permit with the state.
With their expert assistance, new exciting discoveries continue to unveil the hidden secrets. Under the California Desert Protection Act, Red Rock Canyon State Park tripled in size to its current acreage of 27,000 acres, as Congress recognized the need for Red Rock to be protected.
Red Rock Canyon State Park is located at 37749 Abbott Drive, Cantil 93519 (22 miles north of Mojave on Highway 14, near California City).