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According to fossils found in Utah, our state was very different millions of years ago. Paleontologists believed that parts of Utah were once covered by large shallow oceans and tropical forests.
 
Millard County is full of trilobites (organisms that lived in an ocean environment). Is Millard County an ocean today?
 

In Emery and Uintah counties, dinosaur fossils and large deposits of coal indicated that these areas were once tropical and swampy. Coal, an organic (made from live material) sedimentary rock, was formed from decomposed plants that were compressed and hardened over millions of years. Scientists know the area was covered with tropical plants and swamps because coal was made of identifiable plant material,.

  • Are these counties swampy today?
  • How have these places changed?
 

Cube It!

  • Find three things from the prehistoric past to compare with today. You can include the items listed: shallow ocean, swamp and coal.
  • Print the cube pattern.
  • Put one item from the past on each of the sides marked with a number and a "T (Then).
  • Write what those areas look like now on the sides marked with the same number and an "N" (Now).
    • Example: 1T – 1N, 2T-2N, 3T-3N
  • Assemble the cube with tape or glue.
 

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Want to share photos of you or your friends doing this activity? Send it in an e-mail with the following information:

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Teachers should view the Teacher Site Map to relate Sci-ber text and the USOE 4th grade science core.


Updated October 24, 2008 by: Glen Westbroek

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