What Lies Beneath

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Cover Image:
Trilobite fossil
Trilobite fossil - Image Source

Collection Facts


Historical Context

The ground beneath our feet in Western New York is ancient, some layers having formed over 440 million years ago. Each layer from the Queenston Formation (440 mya*) in the Niagara Gorge to the Olean Formation (295 mya) along the Southern Tier has recorded the history of changing marine environments, preserved strange creatures, and bears witness to the uplift and formation of mountains and several mass extinctions.

The opportunities for exploration with this core collection are limited only by your imagination. Rocks and minerals are, by their very nature, the foundation upon which humans have lived and worked in this region for over 13,000 years!

Subjects accessible for exploration through this collection include but are not limited to; indigenous use of the naturally occurring rocks in the area (i.e., the use of Onondaga chert in lithic manufacture), what makes WNY geologically significant, time periods including the Ice Age and the formation of Niagara Falls, fossils as representatives of extinct species. This digital collection is also useful to avocational scientists or home schoolers who may find interesting rocks in their own back yards and wonder what they are and how they came to be!

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Additional Information

Publisher of Digital:

Buffalo Museum of Science, with funding from the American Rescue Plan Act

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