100 Years of America's National Parks: Badlands National Park

Stan Jorstad
July 25, 2016
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Panoramic view of mountains
Stan Jorstad

Badlands National Park, South Dakota

A view of Badlands National Park, South Dakota, 1992. The geologic deposits in Badlands National Park contain one of the world’s richest fossil beds with such ancient mammals as the hornless rhino, the three-toed horse and a cat-like saber-toothed animal.

Smithsonian connection: The first fossils from White River Badlands scientifically collected and described in the 1840s were among the first fossils to become part of the National Museum of Natural History’s collections. The area’s 35–30 million-year-old deposits inspired Spencer F. Baird, the first curator at the Smithsonian, to organize a successful expedition to the Badlands in 1850.

Photo by Stan Jorstad