A Trip to Eocene Fossil Lake: a Virtual Tour of Fossil Butte's Visitor Center

by  National Park Service Fossils and Caves

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Tour Fossil Butte National Monument’s visitor center to
discover the world of ancient Fossil Lake. The many well-preserved fossils paint
a picture of an ancient ecosystem. Fossilized fishes, crocodilians, palms, and
turtles reveal it was a much warmer and wetter environment back then, unlike
the modern sagebrush covered high desert of southwest Wyoming.

Explore the fossils of Fossil Lake in this program that can
be adapted to meet the needs of your classroom upon request.

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About This Program


By Request: $0.00



30-45 minutes

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Adult Learners, Homeschool/Family Public Library: Library Patrons, Library Staff

Minimum participants:


Maximum participants:

There is no maximum number

Primary Disciplines


Program Delivery Mode

Microsoft TeamsGoogle Meet

Booking Information

Programs are available Mondays-Fridays with programs starting between 8:30 am and 3:00 pm Mountain Time. IMPORTANT: Members must provide Fossil Butte National Monument with the connection link. Please check your email for a confirmation from a Fossil Butte National Monument ranger requesting a program link.

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Receive this program and 9 more for one low price when you purchase the CILC Virtual Expeditions package. Learn more

For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

Please give us at least 24 hours' notice for a cancelation. If you would like to reschedule, please do so at least a week in advance.

About This Provider

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National Park Service Fossils and Caves

Kemmerer, WY
United States

Discover the 52-million-year-old fossils of Fossil Butte National Monument and the stunning, quiet caves of Timpanogos Cave National Monument.

Fossil Butte National Monument, in southwest Wyoming, is known for the well-preserved fossils found in Fossil Butte and the surrounding ridges. Fossil fishes, crocodilians, turtles, birds, mammals, insects, and plants tell the story of life in and around an Eocene freshwater lake. Visit Fossil Butte's website for more information about the park.

Timpanogos Cave National Monument is located just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. There are three tour caves connected by two manmade tunnels. The caves feature beautifully decorated rooms with both delicate twisting formations as well as formations that tower over visitors. Learn the science behind formations and hear stories of cave exploration and preservation. Experience and discover as you go – geologic mysteries await! Visit Timpanogos Cave's website for more information about the park.

John Collins

Program Details


1. An introduction to Fossil Butte National Monument and the environment today
2. Definition of the word fossil and explanation of how plants and animals were fossilized in Fossil Lake
3. A “show-and-tell” tour of the fossils on display in our visitor center, which can be interactive if there is an open microphone in the classroom so students can respond to presenter questions, or ask questions of the presenter
4. A wrap-up period for teacher and student questions


The students will:
1. Use observation skills to determine what type of plant or animal they are seeing fossils of
2. Will compare the environment/ecosystem of ancient Fossil Lake to environments/ecosystems today based on the fossils they see and information presented
3. Learn about the fossilization process

Standards Alignment

National Standards

K-ESS3-1: Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants and animals and the places they live.
2-LS4-1: Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.
3-LS2-1: Construct an argument that some animals form groups that help members survive.
3-LS4-1: Analyze and interpret data from fossils to provide evidence of the organisms and the environments in which they lived long ago.
4-ESS1-1: Identify evidence from patterns in rock formations and fossils in rock layers to support an explanation of changes in the landscape over time.
5-LS2-1: Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among, plants, animals, decomposers and the environment.
MS-LS2-4: Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.3.SL.3 Ask and answer questions about information from a speaker, offering appropriate elaboration and detail.