Guest Videos: Thomas Condon and the John Day Fossil Beds

I’m writing an ebook series on cats and how they evolved, and it’s tempting sometimes to take a break and head into Eastern Oregon, where sabertoothed cat-like apex predators called nimravids now sleep, along with their prey, in the John Day country.

I haven’t been there yet, but will visit the area as soon as possible (and get some photos, hopefully, that I can use in the third ebook, about sabertooths).

This place is gorgeous!

It’s badlands, but the residents of this late Eocene to Miocene world were preserved mainly by volcanic deposits (ashfall, lahars, and debris flows) rather than the much slower sedimentary processes that buried nimravids and other animals and plants east of the Rockies at what’s now Badlands National Park.

Erosional processes produce the rainbow hues of the hills in both places.

John Day was Continue reading


Guest Video: M’Goun Geopark

You don’t have to be a mountaineer to enjoy UNESCO’s M’Goun Geopark, in Morocco, but all that effort to reach Mount M’Goun’s 13,400-foot-high summit does earn you an incredibly beautiful overview of this rugged region.

While this is no place to build a Jurassic Park today, dinosaurs once thrived here, according to UNESCO:

The geological history of the territory of the M’Goun UNESCO Global Geopark fits into the geological evolution of the central High Atlas dating back to the Triassic period, 250 million years ago, while the main stages took place during the Jurassic period, about 180 million years ago. The UNESCO Global Geopark includes geological structures in a NE-SW intra-continental chain resulting from a structural reversal of a Jurassic basin tied to the collision of the African and European plates. It includes famous and spectacular footprints of sauropod and theropod dinosaurs and many deposits of bones. The territory contains numerous minerals: Copper, zinc, barite, iron, basalt, limestone and dolomitic Triassic red clays. The M’Goun UNESCO Global Geopark consists of a large number of geosites and geological sites showing several large tectonic structures of the Atlas Mountains that sculpt the landscape.

Today, the land is nourished and shaped by Mediterranean and Atlantic sea breezes. People live there, and others frequently come to visit

–wonderful, wonderful people:

By the way, here’s a recipe for that couscous.

Featured image: ::ErWin, CC BY-SA 2.0