Mineral wells fossil park

Can You Dig It?

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Mineral wells fossil park

Story and photos by Bob Kaspar

It isn’t often that visitors are allowed to take resources out of a park, but at Mineral Wells Fossil Park they’re encouraged to do so.

years to when most of the land on Earth was pressed together into a supercontinent known as Pangaea.

Texas, and much of the Americas, once was attached to present-day Africa on this supercontinent, and the area was covered in a shallow sea. The story of this ancient sea life is told in the fossils that can be found at the park.

The most common finds in the park are remnants of crinoids. With a stalk and feathery arms, crinoids may look like plants, but they’re actually animals similar to sea stars and sea urchins. Fossilized clams and other shelled sea life are also abundant at the park.

Rare finds at the park include prehistoric shark teeth and trilobites, an ancient creature that looked somewhat like a modern-day horseshoe crab. Their segmented bodies make awe-inspiring fossils that help tell the story of Earth’s prehistoric past.

Fossils are extremely plentiful and easy to find at the park, making the site a fantastic place for youths. Any fossils found can only be kept for non-commercial purposes, and digging is only allowed with a small shovel. There is no running water at the park, so visitors should make sure to bring their own.

On the website of Mineral Wells Fossil Park, comments are posted from visitors wondering why the park isn’t more publicized, but the park has to compete with many other offbeat attractions found in and around the city. After all, Mineral Wells is well known for its rich history, from the glamor of the Roaring ’20s and the wild world of the 1800s, to hundreds of millions of years ago when the area teemed with abundant sea life.

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Mineral Wells Fossil Park is located at 2375 Indian Creek Road. Hours are 8 a.m. to 8:45 p.m. daily, and admission is free.

For more information, visit the website: www.mineralwellsfossilpark.com.