Alabama NewsCenter – Go fossil hunting in Alabama at Union Chapel Mine

| June 27, 2022 @ 10:00 am

By Verna Gates

She was 5 years old when she tentatively toddled over to the paleontologist to show her dinner-plate-sized find. He leaned in with a smile of patience, assuming it was just a rock. He flipped up his sunglasses for a better look.

The fossil hunt was 20 minutes in and the smallest child had picked up a museum-quality fossil. It was the track of an Attenosaurus, called a “coal lizard.” These giant ancient reptiles spanned from 6 to 8 feet long and dominated swamps as the largest land animal before dinosaurs emerged.

“There are no dinosaurs at the Union Chapel Mine, but these fossils are rarer than dinosaur bones,” said Carl Sloan, secretary of the Alabama Paleontological Society and leader of the Fresh Air Family field trip.

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Alabama News Center tels the stories of the people and businesses powering the states of Alabama, striving to make Alabama a wonderful place to live and work.

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