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Former Chief Geologist of the Arkansas Geological Survey, John David McFarland, to Visit Hobbs State Park to Talk About Arkansas Fossils

02 Apr 2018 3:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

What is a fossil?  …   simply the preserved remains of a plant or animal.  In Arkansas most of our fossils are of marine animals, which means that millions of years ago the land that is now Arkansas was once under shallow oceans.

The next time you see one of those limestone bluffs along the streams in north Arkansas, just think that what you are really looking at is a pile of fossil fragments all cemented together.  A marine animal called a crinoid is the most common fossil found in these rocks and typically makes up 60% to 98% of our local limestone.

The types of fossils contained in the rocks reveals clues about the age of the rock and the different environments of the past.  The fossils found in Arkansas range in age from over 500 million years ago to as recently as just 1000 years ago.  The latter have taken the name “Young Fossils”.

A new fossil…we have a state flower, a state tree, etc., and now we have a state dinosaur.  The fossilized bones of our state dinosaur were found in Early Cretaceous Age rocks that date from approximately 146 to 100 million years ago.  The Arkansas legislature designated Arkansaurus fridayi as the official state dinosaur in 2017 thanks to efforts made by student Mason "Cypress" Oury of Fayetteville High School.

Join John David McFarland, fossil expert, as he presents fascinating facts about fossils found in different parts of the state.  He will also bring a collection of Arkansas fossils to view.

McFarland retired as Chief Geologist from the Arkansas Geological Survey after 30+ years of service.  During those years he published over 60 abstracts, articles, photographs, guidebooks, and reports in various venues relating to diverse aspects of the state’s geology. 

Where:  Hobbs State Park visitor center located on Hwy 12 just east               of the Hwy. 12/War Eagle Road intersection 

When:  Sunday April 8, 2018 at 2:00 pm 

Cost:  Free - The public/families are invited 

For more information, call:  479-789-5000. This program is a continuation of the Friends of Hobbs Speaker Series.


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