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July 26, 2017 - Today we headed back to the coast to see the Fossil Reef Park in Laguna Hills, CA.  A very large limestone formation was discovered in Laguna Hills in 1973.  This formation is actually the ocean floor, as it existed 18 million years ago.  Most of the fossils in the reef are the molds and internal casts of large scallops (Pectens), clams, and snails.  The exposed fossil ridge was recognized as a County prehistoric site by the Orange County Historical Commission that dedicated the one acre parcel as Fossil Reef Park in 1982.

The plaque says: "Before you are the white limestone remains of an 18,000,000-year old tropical shell reef.  Formed in a shallow bay, it contains fossils of scallops, clams, and tube worms.  Mudstones of the same age, found nearby, hold fossil whales and shark teeth.  Later, as the Santa Ana Mountains rose, the rigid limestone buckled and broke along small faults.  We can now see evidence that tropical seas once covered the spot where you stand."

After walking around the park, we went to the Laguna Hills Community Center to see some of the larger fossil specimens that have been collected at the park over the years.

This beautiful specimen is a saber-toothed cat.

To round out our tour we headed to the Top of the World lookout point in Laguna Beach.  This vista offers a 360 view of the area and these two photographs are looking towards the downtown Laguna Beach area.

It was a busy morning, so we satisfied our appetite at the Slapfish Restaurant in Laguna Beach.  Once again their delicious lobster rolls were ordered and eaten with glee.

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Last modified: January 01, 2023