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Kansas Fossils

Updated on December 26, 2014

It is difficult to visualize the length of time fossils represent. To help explain this make a time-line out of a 3 inch paper strip taped end to end. Using 1 millimeter per 100,000 years and leaving out the Cambrian age the strip will be longer than 60 feet.

Permian Age

Most of the fossils on this page are from the Permian age.

This is what the earth looked like back then.

Ozark Plateau

The following map and description are taken from The Kansas Geological Survey

"The Ozark Plateau in extreme southeastern Kansas is made up of rocks deposited during the Mississippian Period of geologic history, about 350 million years ago. Land forms in the Cherokee Lowlands, Osage Cuestas and the Chautauqua Hills are all Pennslyvanian in age, deposited about 300 million years ago. The Flint Hills of east-central Kansas and the Red Hills in the south-central part of the state are both Permian in age, roughly 250 million years old. Cretaceous-age rocks, deposited about 100 million years ago during the time of the dinosaurs, form the landscape in the Smoky Hills. The High Plains of western Kansas are composed of rock debris washed off the face of the Rocky Mountains over the past few million years. The Arkansas River Lowlands and the Wellington-McPherson Lowlands are areas of recent deposition that border rivers. Glaciers moved into Kansas about 750,000 years ago and sculpted the northeastern corner of the state."


Crinoids--Flowery-like animals that lived in shallow seas


Fusulinids--Tiny, single-celled marine animals that became

extinct at the end of the Permian Period.

Petrified Wood

Found in the upper east corner of the state which is the only place that the glaciers reached during the last ice age.


Any aquatic mollusk including clams, mussels, scallops, and oysters. Pelecypods have two symmetrical shells that are joined by a hinge. Pelecypods are also known as bivalves because of this bilateral symmetry. They are bottom-dwelling and live in shallow waters.


A marine invertebrate that has two differently shaped valves and equilateral symmetry

Pennsylvanian Period

North America during the Pennsylvanian Period, about 300 million years ago.

Kansas is the square block in the middle.

Notice that Kansas was south of the Equator during that time.

Flinthills of Kansas

I do miss the prairies. Don't let the mildness of these grass covered 'hills' fool you. They're quite a climb. The wind never quits and is sometimes strong enough to hold you up if you lean into it.

Drop me a line and tell me about your fossil hunting adventures

Do you love fossil hunting?

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Love to find fossils and I love how you explained the different time periods. Blessed by a Squid Angel.