First, we drove over to Badlands National Park. Badlands National Park has small mountains made of sand and rocks called buttes. In addition to buttes, Badlands is also famous for its is fossils. The fossils are pretty easy to find because rain (and other kinds of erosion like wind) wash away sand and rock revealing fossils. Badlands is filled with mammal fossils, not dinosaur fossils, because it used to be an ocean and dinosaurs lived on land.
Surprisingly, Badlands is not famous for rabbits, but we sure did see a lot of them! They were everywhere. There was even a family of rabbits living under our cabin. Speaking of rodents, we saw prairie dogs. Prairie dogs live under ground and burrow. We also saw buffalo (or bison), which travel in huge packs called herds and at one point, were almost hunted to extinction. Strangely enough, we saw a camel on a cattle farm (notice we were in the prairie, not a desert), which we all thought was very random.
Now onto something that doesn't have to do with animals. We went to a ranger talk about the night sky. Did you know that any time now a star called Betelgeuse (pronounced like "beetle juice") is going to go supernova (or explode) and the scientists are predicting that we'll have two suns in our sky for one to two months! We also found out that the moon is actually drifting further away from the earth by an inch a year and in 1,000 years, we won't have it anymore. But don't worry, you won't be around then.
That same night, we saw a rare sight -- a herd of elk with about 100 females and only two males. The next morning, my Dad and I woke up early to go back to Mount Rushmore. We went on the hiking trail, which gave us good views of the monument. It was nice to go in the morning because there weren't as many people.
Me at Mount Rushmore!
Now on to our next stop, Wyoming.