The Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument is located in the Upper Las Vegas Wash in Clark County and was established to protect prehistoric Ice Age paleontological fossils and artifacts that were discovered in the area. The 22,650-acre United States National Monument takes a journey back to the Ice Age with rocks contain fossils of various prehistoric animals such as horses, bison, lions, dire wolves, and the majestic wooly mammoth that used to roam the once wetlands. Representing a period that ranges from 200,000 to 3,000 years ago, the Tule Springs Fossil Beds are dedicated to the scientific study, preservation and public education of Ice Age fossils. The Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument also protects part of the Tule Springs, a wash area that is home to several patches of the rare Las Vegas bear poppy.

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History

In 1933, quarry workers discovered a pile of bones from a wooly mammoth, and the site became known as ‘Tule the Baby Mammoth.’ Further exploration of the area in 1962 unearthed an abundance of large animal fossils such as camels, ground sloths, camels, mammoths, bison, and the Giant North American lion. In addition to becoming famous for the fossils discovered here, this site was the first place that the technique of radiocarbon dating was tested and used in the United States.

Paleontology

Fossils found at the Tule Springs Fossil Beds site date back to 250,000 years ago and include American lions, camelops, and Columbian mammoths, among other creatures. Other fossils from creatures that roamed the once wetlands that have been found include those of horses, bison, dire wolves and ground sloths.

Visitor Information

The Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument is located in the Upper Las Vegas Wash in Clark County and is open to the public during daylight hours from sunrise to sunset.

Las Vegas, NV 89124, website, Phone: 702-293-8853

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