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Burial Ground
Photograph by Annie Griffiths Belt

Rock-ribbed country looks built to last, but it's mostly made of crumbly claystone. Erosional loss has been science's gain—fossils by the bucketload. Near these buttes, the National Park Service's Big Pig Dig attracts as many as 10,000 visitors a year to an 11-year-old excavation. More than 8,000 bones have been found, including some from a large pig-like creature called Archaeotherium, for which the Pig Dig was named. Sheep-like grazers, rhinos, tiny horses, and predatory cats were also trapped in this water hole as it dried out. Rangers are always on the lookout for illegal fossil hunting in the park—it's a big business.

Photo Fast Facts

Camera: Nikon F4
Film Type: Fujichrome Velvia 50
Lens: Nikkor 20-35mm zoom
Speed and F-Stop: 1/15 @ f/5.6
Weather Conditions: Clear
Time of Day: Last rays of sunset
Lighting Techniques: Natural light


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