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Castle Rock family finds 64 million-year-old fossils in back yard

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — On a recent hot summer day, while digging a sand box in their back yard, Troy Carmann and sons Grant and Winston found 64 million year old fossils.

“I just thought, yeah fossils, it was so hot and the ground was getting so hard to dig, I had to get the electric jack hammer out,” said Troy Carmann.

 “When I took the ‘leaves’ into work, my boss let his son look at them. They both suggested I take them to the museum. When I did they dated them back to the Castle Rock Rain Forest which bloomed right after an asteroid strike near Cancun, Mexico wiped out the dinosaurs some 64 million years ago.”

Ian Miller is with the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. He says the find is significant in that it is just up the road from one of the best flora finds ever, which was made at the Wolfensberger exit on I-25 back in 1997.

“The entire Front Range area from Ft. Collins to Colorado Springs was part of the Castle Rock Rain Forest, so finding fossils—in this case leaf fossils—is not that uncommon,” said Miller.

“We will gather about 30 leaves for study so we can find out data relating to how hot the area was and how much water was in the region.”

The kids had a ball digging in with the scientists and their dad; each had their own shovels and learned the correct way to harvest the prehistoric treasures.

Years from now, the kids will be able to visit the museum and show off their fossil find to their children, as their names will be on the leaf fossils found on the Carmann homestead.