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A Happy Accident - The Joshua Tree

The U2 Memorial Site

I Love the U2 Album - The Joshua Tree - Do U2? - The Mojo on the Mojave is about things that are located or happening in the Mojave Desert. Part of this story lies outside the Mojave's reaches but we will touch on the entire bus trip that the Irish rock band U2 took before they released the album that was destined to be called "The Joshua Tree". We will mainly focus on the portions of that trip that lie within the Mojave Desert.

Let's start with what we know for sure, in 1987 U2 released an album called "The Joshua Tree". Before the album was released they traveled from Reno to Joshua Tree with a few stops in between to take pictures. Later they would return to film videos in Los Angeles and Las Vegas after the album was released. More...

Gopherus agassizii

Desert Tortoise

Desert Tortoise - The tortoise is able to live where ground temperatures may exceed 140 degrees F, because of its ability to dig underground burrows and to escape the heat. At least 95% of its life is spent in burrows. There, it is also protected from freezing while dormant, November through February or March.

The Sonoran desert tortoise is flat and pear-shaped, compared to the Western Mojave tortoise which is more of a butterball shape; they are usually active in spring. The Sonoran desert tortoise is more active in summer and seeks shade under large rocks and boulders. It is possible that northern and southern desert tortoises may one day be designated as different species or subspecies. More...

Dinosaur Fossils in the North American Deserts

Dinosaur Model

Tracking Dinosaurs - Dinosaurs have a broad public and scientific appeal. They are portrayed as gigantic and fearsome beasts who ruled the Earth longer than any other land animals – about 150 million years – and then suddenly and dramatically disappeared.

In fact, the word "dinosaur" was originally coined by Richard Owen in 1842 to mean "fearfully-great lizard." Over time, the term became simplified to "terrible lizard," but dinosaurs were neither terrible nor were they lizards. Indeed, many were quite small, especially when they first appear in the fossil record of about 225 million years ago. More...

Fossils Hidden in Nodules

Fossilized Insect

Finding Fossilized Insects in the Mojave - In 1985 some friends and I went on a desert camping trip to the old mining site of Borate which is located about 3.6 miles east of Calico Ghost Town, California.Our camp site was located on top of a high mound of greenish colored mine tailings. In these tailings I found a number of interesting and unusual rocks which appeared to be sedimentary in nature and symmetrical in shape. Abrading these rocks resulted in a petroleum-like odor.

Some years later, while going through some old issues of Desert Magazine, I
came across an article titled "Fossil Insects from the Mojave" by Ruth A. Kirkby in the January 1959 issue. The article indicated that these odd rocks were nodules from the "Barstow Formation" and were formed in the Miocene Epoch some 10 to 50 million years ago. The major significance of these rock nodules is the fact that they contain a very rare form of insect fossil. These fossilized insects are in the form of silica and are in a 3 dimensional state, often retaining wings, legs, antennae and colored markings. This type of insect fossil is found nowhere else in the world! More...

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DesertUSA is a comprehensive resource about the North American deserts and Southwest destinations. The desert is a wonderful place to enjoy the outdoors and to spend time in recreational activities. You can camp, hike, bike, fish or just explore this unique environment found only in the American Southwest. DesertUSA has information on national parks, state parks, BLM land, and the Colorado River and its lakes. We also have articles about the cities and towns located in or near the desert regions. Use DesertUSA.com as a resource to explore the many adventures that await you in the desert.

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