This site describes the White Mountains, the Inyo Mountains, and associated ranges along the California-Nevada border north of Death Valley. This location presents one of the most important and best-known Late Proterozoic to Cambrian sections in the United States. Starting with the unfossiliferous Precambrian rocks of the Wyman Formation, paleontologists can work their way through a complete section that documents the appearance of various animals and protists, starting about 540 million years ago. Precambrian, Cambrian, and later Paleozoic rocks are also exposed to the south of the White-Inyo region, in Death Valley and in various ranges of the Mojave Desert. An outstanding feature of the region is Rowlands Reef, which was not made by corals but by archaeocyathids (extinct organisms related to sponges) and by carbonate-secreting cyanobacteria. The site also contains photographs of stromatolites as well as archaeocyathids.


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