Sand Planet: Northern Colorado 280 Million Years Ago

Uploaded: Jan. 13, 2014, 1:35 p.m. | Modified: June 21, 2019, 8:36 a.m. | Albums: Ancient Landscapes of Colorado with Denver Museum of Nature and Science
Permian, 280 million years ago (Lyons Formation). A significant change in the climate led to the development large arid desert across the western US. This scene, near the town of Lyons, shows large sand dunes, similar to the modern Sahara desert. The plants grow primarily near the intermittent streams that cross the dune fields. Plants shown Tinsleya and gigantopterid plants and some of the first conifers and cycads

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.

Based on the painting "Sand Planet" (DMNS Ancient Denvers exhibit)(courtesy Kirk Johnson and Jan Vriesen). A special thanks to James Hagadorn and Ian Miller (DMNS) for their input.

Scene by Joseph Rogers.
Geologic age: 280Ma