Wrangel-St. Elias National Park

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Three research studies conducted at and including Wrangel-St. Elias National Park show evidence that dinosaurs once roamed the area, marine invertebrate fossils are the most abundant and varied fossil resources in several national parks in Alaska and there are troubling levels of harmful mercury in fish found at the park. In a study published in Cretaceous Research and conducted in October 2012 by Anthony R. Fiorillo, Thomas L. Adams and Yoshitsugu Kobayashi, evidence of dinosaurs was based on the finding of an unnamed nonmarine sedimentary package of rocks. Found in the Wrangellia Terrane and considered to be Cretaceous age, the rocks are light colored with medium grey shales and indicate a bounty of horsetails, ferns and gymnosperm wood.…show more content…
While a theropod “beast-footed” carnivore includes the T. Rex, the ones that likely roamed Wrangel-St.Elias National Park were considerably smaller. The researchers found evidence of a single theropod that was likely a tiny 9 cm long and 7 cm wide due to an impression of the sinusoidal shape. Several ornithopod, medium and large plant-eating dinosaurs, was identified by blunt and rounded digit impressions which are usually 22 cm long and 26 wide. It was the first evidence that dinosaurs roamed this vast region. In a broader study of several national parks in Alaska, conducted in October 2009 by Robert B. Blodgett and David. M. Rohr, documented the varied and abundant marine invertebrate fossils. The team studied Paleozoic and Mesozoic marine faunas in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Denali National Park, Yukon-Charley River National Preserve and Glacier Bay National Park. They found that upper triassic gastropods from the chitistone limestone in Wrangell-St. Elias included a wide variety of early norian gastropods very similar to the fauna of the Hells Canyon region of the boundary of Oregon and…show more content…
Wrangell-St Elias is one in four Alaskan national parks that tested positive for mercury. In some cases the levels exceeded the State of Alaska’s human consumption levels of mercury for women and children. The test was part of a multi-year U.S. geological survey and study of fish in high elevation lakes and streams. Mercury was found in all fish and can be harmful to other fish, wildlife, humans etc. The mercury was found in fish in Copper, Tanada, and Summit Lakes. Consuming high amounts of mercury can damage developing brains in babies and
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