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FLORISSANT FOSSIL BEDS NATIONAL MONUMENT
Teller County

This is a plate of fossils from the Florissant, Colorado area
The wood fossils are virtually still wood after 35,000,000 years
This eART SCAN shows how small
the insect fossils are
If you click on this eART SCAN
you can see how detailed
each insect is, on a full page
A group of Plant and
Insect Fossils from
Florissant, Colorado near
the Florissant Fossil Bed
National Monument

Welcome to the Proctor Museum of Natural Science "INFORMATION SECTION" on the Florissant Fossil Bed National Monument which is located in Teller County, Colorado. Colorado Springs is about 45 minutes to the East of Florissant, on U.S. Highway 24.

Florissant is located in the heart of Colorado. Coming from the East out of Kansas on I.H. 70, you veer Southwest on U.S. Highway 24 into Colorado Springs, Colorado and continue about 45 minutes West until you come to the small town of Florissant, Colorado. Turning South at the signs to the Florissant Fossil Bed National Monument, you will pass "Nature's Treasures" on the West which is a public digging for fee location, where one may find on occasions very good quality insect and leaf fossils.

After you enter the Florissant Fossil Bed National Monument, there is NO DIGGING allowed. At the tourist center, you can see examples of excellent insect and plant fossils on display. You can also take a couple of tours through the grounds and see the remains of huge Red woods which once grew in Florissant, until they were inundated with a flood of volcanic ash which suffocated and buried them high on their trunks. The tops deteriorated, but the trunks and bases fossilized and remained until discovered in the past few hundred years. Some remain, but others were cut out as souvenirs. One of the trunks today has a saw blade stuck in it where there was an attempt to remove it to take to the St. Louis World's Fair in 1939.

It is amazing to see these insects and leaves under a magnifying glass. Many of the insects are perfect to their legs, antennae, and the leaves to their veins and every portion of the leaf.


Now for some samples of the types of insects
which you can find near the
Florissant Fossil Bed National Monument
at a location called "Nature's Treasure"
where you can pay to dig fossils.


FOSSIL INSECTS from FLORISSANT, COLORADO

Possibly a
Tsetse Fly
02
Possibly an ant
or stinging insect
03
Possibly some
type of fly
04
Possibly some
type of fly
05
Possibly a
Robber Fly
06
Possibly a midge
07
Probably a
stinging insect
08
Possibly an ant
or wasp
09
Some type
of beetle
10
Flying insect--see
other half to the right
11
Flying insect--see
other half to the left
12
Beetle--see
other half below
13
Possibly a
Robber fly
15
Possibly a bee
or a wasp
16
Probably a bee
or wasp
17
Beetle--see
other half above
14
Believed to be
a mosquito
18
Difficult to say
probably a beetle
19
Probably some type
of wasp or other
stinging insect
20
Could be some
type of moth
21
Probably the nymphs
of some type of
stinging insect
22
Beetle
both sides
23
More to come
24
More to come
25

Dr. Terry Proctor collected all of the above insect fossils during several trips to the Florissant, Colorado area. Most came from Nature's Treasure, a commercial dig site where you can pay to dig. Others came from a ranch where the landowner graciously allowed Terry and his party to dig.

Fossils are being identified and until some semblance of accurate identification is completed, only numbers are being used herein. There are over 7,900 specimens on a national data bank and that information is available at a website by the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument and the site is http://planning.nps.gov/flfo/tax3_Result.cfm. (19 Feb'04 this appears to be a bad link at present)



Shortly we will be scanning our collection of fossil leaves, plants and a fish to include on this page. Thank you for your patience while we complete the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument Page.

FOSSIL LEAVES & PLANTS from FLORISSANT, COLORADO

Some type of fern
01
Possibly Attenuate Salix
(Black Willow)
Note the very pointed
end to the leaf
02
Possibly a
Betula (Birch)
03
Two opposing sides of
a piece of conifer twig?
or perhaps fern
04
Fagopsis
Beech and Oak
Family of trees
05
Probably also a
Fagopsis
06
Possibly a
Lanceolate Salix
(Black Willow)
07
Possibly Chamaecyparis
(White Cedar)
08
unidentified
09
Possibly a
Dentate Quercus
(Canyon Live Oak)
10
unidentified
11
Cedrelospermum
12
Unidentified tree leaf
13
Probably also a
Fagopsis leaf
{note insect to the right}
14
Possibly something like
underground threads
such as mushrooms
or other roots of plants
15
A twig from an
unidentified shrub
or tree
16
unidentified
tree leaf

17
Possibly Cladphlebis
(Fern)
18
Possibly a Caesalpina
(divi-divi tree)
19
Possibly a
Lanceolate Salix
(Black Willow)
20
unidentified at present
21
Possible Cercocarpus
(Mountain Mahogany)
22
This is a leaf from
2001--found lying in
the detritus of the yard
showing how veins are
left as the surface of
the leaf deteriorates
23
24



A FOSSIL FISH from FLORISSANT, COLORADO

Fossil fish found
along roadside near
Florissant Fossil Beds
National Monument

This page is still under construction. Thank you for your patience while we complete our work.