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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/502

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482
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

rock. This is to-day the floor of the basin, and in it are wrapped the thousands of insects which at the time disported in the subtropical sunshine, and whose lives were involved in the catastrophe.

PSM V49 D502 A rocky mountain park across the florissant basin.jpg
A Rocky Mountain "Park," across the Florissant Basin, Colorado.

Fish remains are still occasionally met with, but they do not appear to be in any way abundant. The heated waters flooded portions of the adjacent dry land, and destroyed the stately forest that grew down to the banks—the forest of giant redwoods (Sequoia) which already then clothed this portion of the North American continent, and whose extension is to be found in the forest heaps of Patoot and Atanekerdlook on the western coast of Greenland, almost under the seventieth parallel of north latitude. It was a different climate then. The Sequoias do not, perhaps, teach us much, since they, or a closely allied species, are still a part of the vegetative product of California, and are to-day a wonder in their own land; but when they reared their majestic trunks above the plains of Florissant, they did so in association with palms and with other representatives of the southern climes. They fell together, and together have their remains been preserved.

The silicified trees of the Florissant Basin are a marked curiosity of the United States. They are less known than the "stone forest" of Arizona, or than the similar mausoleum of the Yellowstone region, but it is only because they have not yet been brought to the attention of the tourist. The trees are at the present time represented only by their stumps. In wandering over the green meadow the eye here and there rests upon a seem-