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Discovering Alabama

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Alabama Fossils

Eons ago the land we know today as Alabama was a strange and different world, covered in many places by vast swamps. The inhabitants of this world were stranger still. Prehistoric animals of assorted sizes and shapes roamed the shorelines and mudflats of wetlands shrouded with thickets of primitive carbonaceous plants. Millions of years later, the swamps and their plants would become the buried coal measures of north and central Alabama. Trapped within these transformed sediments would also be the foot prints and fossilized remains from many of the intriguing creatures present in Alabama over a span of geologic time. This program visits a remarkable coal mine site in Walker County that reveals a scientific mother load of superbly preserved animal tracks from periods dating back around 300 million years ago. The site as was purchased by the state in 2004 for permanent protection under management by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, State Lands Division.

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