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Sand Planet
280 million years ago (Early Permian)

Find the clickable hot spots for details and evidence, or follow the links below. (Click to see larger image)

Description: It is the time of Pangaea, a giant supercontinent formed by the collision of all of the earth's continents. Sand seas reminiscent of the Sahara cover huge stretches of the American West, with immense dunes lapping up the flanks of the Ancestral Rocky Mountains. Bizarre plants and animals inhabit this giant desert, including squat-bodied protomammals the size of big dogs and a few of the world's first large-bodied plant-eaters. Many of them leave their tracks in the dunes. The plants that have adjusted to this extreme climate include extinct oddballs such as Tinsleya and gigantopterid plants and some of the first conifers and cycads.

Formation: Lyons

Artist: Jan Vriesen

Best Viewing Spots:

  • Garden of the Gods Park and Visitor Center
  • Roxborough State Park
  • Area surrounding Lyons, Colorado
  • Hall Ranch Open Space

The Kissing Camels site at Garden of the Gods is an example of the Lyons Formation.

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