Ashfalls  by   Thomas

12 million   years    ago when   a   volcano   in   Idaho   erupted   ash   covered   a    large   area  of   land.  The animals  in   northeast    Nebraska   did  not   die   from  the   ash  right   away.The  animals   breathed in the dust   and  ate  the  dust   covered   plants.   a That   caused  them  to  die    in  3  to   5   weeks  from   the    eruption. The  smaller    animals    died     first    because   they   had  smaller lungs. The  bigger animals  died  last.      

                 Ashfalls Discovered

In    1971    A    University   Of     Nebraska  State  Museum  Paleontologist,   Michael   Voorhies   was   walking     with    his     wife   through   some   gullies   on    a  farm   in     Northeastern, Nebraska.  He    was   walking   to  learn  about  the  Verdigre Creek.  All   of  a   sudden  they  saw  something   peaking    out   of  the  wall  of   the  gully.  It   was   a small   piece  of   a  white    bone   with   ash  all  around    it.  Dr.Voorhies  identified   it as   part  of a  skull  of  a baby  rhinoceros.  Six  years   later   he   got    a    crew    together  and  they   begin   to    dig    a  20    meter   area   where    the     bone   was   found.

Dr. Voorhies thinks the animals came to the  fossil bed site  looking  for  water and a cool  place to rest. Over a  few   weeks  the  animals  died a  slow,  painful death of lung   failure by breathing in the ash.  ALL of  the  skeletons  found  had  growths  on their  bones showing  they died  of  lung failure.

If you  go  to  Ashfall you will  see the skeletons still  laying there  where  they died.  Some   of  the   animal   skeletons   are   joined   together  in  the   order  of   the    way  they   died.  The  skeletons   were   left   there   and   not    moved   to a  museum.  The  rhino barn  is  built   right  above   the  site where the  skeletons  are   located.  Some   of   the   large   skeletons   have   been   named.  Morris-a  male   rhino  with  large  tusks   and   big   feet; Mcgrew -a   female  rhino  with  small  tusks  and   unborn  calf; DR.Marie - a small, there -toed  hores; Della-a  young  horse  who  still had  its   baby   teeth.                                                                                                                                 

Ashfall Fossil Beds have been named a National, natural landmark.  It's the only place on Earth where large numbers of animals have been found in whole 3-D preserved, skeletons.  Ashfall Fossil Bed is definately an interesting and unique place in Nebraska.