Paleontology and geology
About 600,000 years ago, glaciers covered the northeastern tip of the state for a brief time. Fine silt left by retreating glaciers was redistributed by the wind to form loess deposits over much of the state and sand dunes in south central and southwest Kansas. Land cover varied from coniferous forests to grassland savannas to short grass prairies. Typical grassland animals were common, though many were larger than their existing relatives today. Bison, horses, mammoths, mastodons, camels, saber-toothed cats, elk, and deer all lived here and their remains are found today in riverbeds and shallow quarries.