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Nebraska's Agate Fossil Beds National Monument worth a detour

Diorama display of 23 million year old Mammals at the visitor center.

Excavation and research has been going on at Agate Fossil Beds since the late 1800’s. The exemplary mammal fossil bones are from the Miocene Epoch (23 to 5 million years ago).  The visitor center includes reconstructed skeletons, along with a collection of Native American artifacts, including items from Chief Red Cloud.

Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, located in the northwest corner of Nebraska where cattle far outnumber humans—there are only 1,500 residents in Sioux County. Wyoming is 17 miles to the west, and South Dakota is 42 miles north.  

Vista from Fossil Beds National Monument visitor center
Credit Thomas Wilmer / Thomas Wilmer
Thomas Wilmer
Vista from Fossil Beds National Monument visitor center

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Tom Wilmer produces on-air content for Issues & Ideas airing over KCBX and is producer and host of the six-time Lowell Thomas award-winning NPR podcast Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer. Recorded live on-location across America and around the world, the podcasts feature the arts, culture, music, nature, history, science, wine & spirits, brewpubs, and the culinary arts--everything from baseball to exploring South Pacific atolls to interviewing the real Santa Claus in the Arctic.
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