Did you know that long before Vail became a ski area in 1962 or even before Eagle County was established in 1883, all sorts of dinosaurs roamed the area millions and millions of years ago? And, better yet, did you know that Eagle County houses fossils from the Jurassic, Triassic and Cretaceous periods?
If you didn’t know these fun and amazing facts, come on down to Dinosaur Junction in Wolcott and meet Billy Doran, founder of Fossil Posse kids educational camps.
“At Dinosaur Junction, the Jurassic, Triassic and Cretaceous periods come together and I have found fossils, bones, footprints, teeth and shells in all three layers. This long period of time, 165 million years, is something few people realize. They know that dinosaurs lived ‘a long time ago over a long period of time,’ but not that they actually ruled the Earth for that long. As recognizable humans, we have been around about 200,000 years, which is a geologic blink of an eye,” Doran said.
Doran opened up Fossil Posse Prehistoric Journeys kids camp in 2015 after a few years of field digs with the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and several National Geographic expeditions and eventually led to Doran’s photography being featured in a double-page spread in the May 2015 issue of National Geographic magazine.
Doran was recently published for the first time as a co-author on a paleontology paper along with renowned dinosaur track expert Dr. Martin Lockley regarding fossils found in Eagle County. “So now our ‘hometown fossils’ are officially on the record, we are now part of the international dinosaur world,” Doran said.
The museum focuses on dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals that inhabited not just Colorado but walked ancient Eagle County. “We know what these animals were through their fossil remains that have been found all over. We have life-sized skulls from T-rex and triceratops, we have a real arm from an ancient Dromaeosaur, a raptor-like dinosaur, and many amazing and fantastic fossils, teeth, bones and footprints that we use to teach people about what came so long before us,” Doran said.
To learn more about Dinosaur Junction, the kids’ camps, tours that will bring you out to some of Doran’s finds or rafting and fossil hunting excursions visit www.fossilposse.com.