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Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson, AZ, USA

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A Sonora desert museum dedicated to extant creatures of this desert, but having a mineral and fossil collection...some photos included, apologies about the flash flare on some of these images...

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I took a one-day fossil "course" at the Sonoran Desert Museum when I lived in Tucson, mostly to see if they would disclose any decent collecting sites.  They had some pretty interesting material in the back room collections.  One I still wonder about was an absolutely unmistakable Late Cretaceous Baculites specimen someone found in the Tucson Mountains, just west of town.  Very strange as there is no marine Late Cretaceous known from anywhere nearby, you'd have to go to Northern Arizona or New Mexico to find Baculites in situ.  There is a Late Cretaceous terrestrial formation with fresh-water unionids and gastropods and a few dinosaurs (the Fort Crittenden Formation) in the Santa Rita Mountains to the south.  I have wondered ever since if there was a tiny fault slice of marine Late Cretaceous hidden somewhere in those mountains.  Given how faulted they are, it's not impossible that a slice only a couple of dozen square meters could be hiding out in some dry wash.


Anyway the museum is excellent, fantastic displays of all things Sonoran Desert.  They have (or had) a great exhibit on convergent evolution, with plants (succulants and cacti) from the Sonoran Desert and identical-looking plants from South Africa that actually belong to totally different families such as the Euphorbiaceae.  You could only tell them apart when they flowered.



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What a fantastic museum.  I was there about 20 years ago...but mostly remember the Hummingbirds.


I found it a great place for anyone visiting the state to drop by. I learned a lot about the wildlife, etc and  then knew more what I was looking at when I went for hikes on my own.


Anyways, the museum is a real gem.

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Very nice thanks for sharing!



PS Love the bird nest!!

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