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Fossils Found in Madera County Landfill

Curt Arens A barrel-bodied rhino in its death pose at Ashfall Fossil Beds joins a complete field of fossils. In a fossil rich state like Nebraska, farmers and ranchers commonly find ancient remnants of animals that lived in the state long ago. If you find a fossil o
FINDING BONES: A barrel-bodied rhino in its death pose joins a complete field of fossils at Ashfall Fossil Beds State Historical Park.

In 1993, landfill workers at the Madera County landfill in California discovered fossils beneath the site.

Since its discovery, more than 15,000 fossils have been unearthed from the site, making it one of the most significant paleontological finds in recent decades.

Still to this day fossils are unearthed from the landfill in what is known as "salvage paleontology." Under their current system landfill workers dig as they need and allow paleontologists to come in and recover fossils as they are found.

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