The Bottom of an Ancient Sea

We went down to Carlsbad Caverns.  This is another familiar place I visited for the first time.  I really saw a lot of the world – in 3D – with View Master.

I will post some actual cave pictures in the next entry.  I was also interested in the geography up top. There has been a fair amount of rain, so the landscape is unusually green. But this is generally a high and dry landscape with an interesting geology.  This used to sit at the bottom of a shallow ocean during the Permian Period. It was something like the Persian Gulf is today, very hot and dry on the land, but the undersea environment was very diverse.  This was a reef that supported all sorts of life.  Some, like sponges and algae, are familiar today.  Then there were the trilobites, my personal favorite. 

Lots of the animals, whole families of them, are extinct, since the Permian Period ended with the greatest mass-extinction of all time, wiping out the majority of earth’s species.  The Permian Period was the last period of the Paleozoic Era.  What followed was the Mesozoic, the age of dinosaurs.

The first two pictures are up top of Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. The bottom picture is alone I-10 in Texas.  Notice the rainbow.