Geology of the Santa Cruz Region
Dig for 10 million year old sand dollars in the Museum's fossil dig. See the recreated skull of a mastodon that once roamed the Santa Cruz Mountains between 10,000 and 1 million years ago. These exhibits examine the fossil record and helps us understand the animals and plants that were found in the area prior to recorded human history. Did you know that during the age of dinosaurs Santa Cruz was underwater, and California's Central Valley was an inland sea? The Museum features fossilized bones of whales, dolphins and an entire sea cow skeleton - related to several species of manatee and dugong gliding through different waters today.
Adjacent to the fossil exhibits is a small exhibit describing the various rock formations that define the geology of Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz has significant deposits of limestone. This limestone, when cured, was an important element in the production of cement. Tons of processed limestone was exported from Santa Cruz to ports up and down the Pacific Coast.