Colorado's East Coast: The Front Range, 100 Million Years Ago

Uploaded: Feb. 9, 2014, 1:40 p.m. | Modified: Nov. 13, 2015, 2:08 a.m. | Albums: Ancient Landscapes of Colorado with Denver Museum of Nature and Science
Early Cretaceous (100 Million years ago). An interior seaway had invaded Colorado, extending from Texas to northern Alaska. This scene shows a beach near Denver, looking similar to the east coast of the US today.
Rivers flowed from mountains far to the west in Utah and brought sand and gravel to the coast. Along the shoreline is a dank coastal forest.

Plants depicted: ferns (Astralopteris and Matodinium), broad-leafed trees (Sapindopsis, Liriophyllym, and Protophyllum), and strange conifers.

From the painting "East Coast Colorado" (DMNS Ancient Denvers exhibit)(courtesy Kirk Johnson and Jan Vriesen). A special thanks to James Hagadorn and Ian Miller (DMNS) for their input. Scene is by James Adson and Joseph Rogers.

This preliminary version is part of a joint project between the Interactive Geology Project at the University of Colorado Boulder and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. The nature paintings at the Colorado Convention Center and Denver Museum of Nature and Science are being animated.