Devil's Toenails | Notom

Roadside Attraction Devil's Toenails - Notom Roadside Attraction Devil's Toenails

Notom

Overview

RATING: Roadside
LENGTH: 1+ hours
MAPS: CAINEVILLE, UT

Thu

A slight chance of rain showers after noon. Sunny, with a high near 97. South wind 2 to 18 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

97 | 58

Fri

Showers and thunderstorms likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 87. South wind 2 to 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

87 | 62

Sat

Sunny, with a high near 93.

93 | 60

Sun

Sunny, with a high near 98.

98 | 66

Mon

Sunny, with a high near 101.

101 | 68

View Full Weather Details
SEASON: Any, although summers can be very hot.
WATER: None, bring all you need.

Thu

A slight chance of rain showers after noon. Sunny, with a high near 97. South wind 2 to 18 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

97 | 58

Fri

Showers and thunderstorms likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 87. South wind 2 to 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

87 | 62

Sat

Sunny, with a high near 93.

93 | 60

Sun

Sunny, with a high near 98.

98 | 66

Mon

Sunny, with a high near 101.

101 | 68

View Full Weather Details
Hunting for Devil's Toenails

Hunting for Devil's Toenails

Fossil stops are always a bit of a gamble in our family. About 1/2 the time we stop, poke around for a while, but end up not finding anything. This stop is the opposite of that experience. The Devil's Toenail fossils are plentiful and easy to find. We really enjoyed spending a half-hour or so looking at fossils in the area.

Fossil Information: Oyster Gryphaea, also known as the "devil's toenail," is an extinct genus of mollusks belonging to the family Gryphaeidae. These bivalve organisms are particularly distinctive for their unique shell shape, resembling a curved, elongated toenail, hence the colloquial name.

Description: The shell of Gryphaea is generally thick and irregularly shaped, with one valve being more convex and the other more concave, giving it a distinct appearance. Its size could vary greatly, from just a few centimeters to over 30 centimeters in length. The exterior of the shell typically exhibits fine concentric ridges and often has a rough texture due to its mode of attachment to the substrate.

History: Gryphaea first appeared during the Jurassic period, around 200 million years ago, and persisted until the end of the Cretaceous period, about 65 million years ago. They were widespread throughout the world's oceans during their existence, inhabiting shallow marine environments such as coastal regions and continental shelves.

These organisms were filter feeders, meaning they obtained their food by filtering small particles from the water column using their gills. They likely lived in colonies attached to hard substrates such as rocks, shells, or even the remains of other organisms.

Gryphaea fossils are relatively common and have been discovered on every continent. They are particularly abundant in certain geological formations, such as the Jurassic Coast in England, where they are found in large numbers embedded in limestone and shale deposits.

So many interesting rocks and fossils to look at!

So many interesting rocks and fossils to look at!

Getting There

The trailhead is just off SR-24 at mile post 92. This is the highway that connects Torrey to Hanksville. Mile post 92 is about 12 miles east of the Capitol Reef Visitor Center.

At Mile Post 92, a side road, the Old Notom Road, leaves on the south side of ST-24. Follow this good, graded dirt road about 0.25 miles and park anywhere along the road.

Rock strewn badlands are the Old Notom Road.

Rock strewn badlands are the Old Notom Road.

Route

From the Old Notom Road, the hills to the north (right) side of the road are littered with interesting rocks and the Devil's Toenails. It took us just a few minutes to get an eye for the fossils, then we saw them EVERYWHERE! We found that wandering a bit farther from the road led to some excellent specimens.


Maps

Printable Maps:
Mile Post 92

12S 493238mE 4235548mN

N38° 16' 05" W111° 04' 38"

0.2 miles

12S 492915mE 4235256mN

N38° 15' 55" W111° 04' 52"

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