White River Badlands and White River Fossils
Badlands National Park
The following pages contain images of the White River badlands
and fossils found in the Badlands National Park. The White River badlands
stretch across parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, and South Dakota. Images
from other sections of the White River badlands will be loaded in the future.
All fossil images were taken in the field. All fossils shown here were left
in place, undisturbed. For an overview of the geologic history of the High
Plains from the U.S. Geological Survey, click
The Wall, Cedar Pass area.
Overlook showing Brule Formation.
View showing weathered top of the Cretaceous Pierre Shale.
The fossils shown below are found in the
Lower Brule Formation, a unit of the Oligocene White River Group.
The fossils weather out of the retreating cliffs and accumulate on the
more slowly eroding flats.
Another view of Badlands National Park.
Partial skull of Hyracodon (a small primitive
rhinoceros). The rock layer in which this fossil is found is known
locally as the "red layer" due to iron oxide coating most of the fossils
found here. This is unique to this layer, most White River fossils
are pure white in color.
Leg bone, Lower Brule Formation (~10 cm in length).
Tortoise shell (Stylemys nebrascensis).
This mostly intact tortoise shell is slightly squashed. These tortoise
shells are the most common fossil found in this section of the White River
Snail (Helix leidyi) on pedestal.
Another snail on pedestal.
Spallation weathering of siltstone.