Slimy Shoreline: Red Rocks Park, Denver, Colorado 250 Million Years Ago

Uploaded: Jan. 13, 2014, 1:36 p.m. | Modified: June 4, 2019, 1:48 a.m. | Albums: Ancient Landscapes of Colorado with Denver Museum of Nature and Science
Early Triassic, 250 million years ago (Lykins Formation). The Permian ended with the largest mass extinction in geologic history of 90% of marine life and much life on land. This scene shows the tropical shoreline that developed about one million years later in an arid shoreline setting at Red Rocks Park near Denver. The mounded features are called stromatolites, and consist of cyanobacteria and algae. These features only grow in a few places today, generally shallow, salty areas.

Organisms depicted: cyanobacteria and algae in stromatolitic mounds

Based on the paintings "Slimy Shoreline" (DMNS Ancient Denvers exhibit, and Colorado Convention Center)(courtesy Kirk Johnson and Jan Vriesen). A special thanks to James Hagadorn and Ian Miller (DMNS) for their input.

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

Scene by James Adson and Joseph Rogers.

Geologic age: 250Ma