WELCOME TO

A Ron Ratkevich Website
That's me above
WE ARE THE DINOSAURS CLICK DINO TO PLAY
WRITTEN BY KIRK AND MAGOO, RECORDED BY TROUT FISHING IN AMERICA

CLICK
LINKS
BELOW

USE THE LINKS BELOW AND AT LEFT TO FIND JUST ABOUT ANYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT ARIZONA'S FOSSIL AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL RECORDS. CLICK PAGE LINKS THROUGHOUT THIS WEBSITE FOR FOR DETAILED INFORMATION ON WHAT TO LOOK FOR,
HOW TO KNOW WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING AT, AND WHAT TO DO WITH IT ONCE YOU'VE FOUND IT.
T-Rat.com is my own website. My name is Ron Ratkevich and I'll be your guide through this introduction to Arizona's ancient history. I built T-Rat.com and I'm solely responsible for its content. It's all about the incredible world of Natural History in Arizona. Much of my life has been spent as a professional paleontologist or archaeologist, engaged in one way or another with fossils and the ancient history of humans in the American Southwest. But it wasn't that easy, the quest to understand life on Earth, having only fragments of a 4 billion year old record will always be frustrating to those trying to interpret the story recorded only by chance preservation .
And worse, elements of the story only found by chance. It is a beautifully frustrating science and it has a hook that is luring to untold numbers of people, in every country, who have ever picked up a stone that holds a sea shell, a tooth or an unrecognized bit of ancient life, and with that discover, always allows the question to fill a mind, young and old, what, when, how, or in the case of archaeology, who. If you have a spiritual bent, maybe even a fossil or an arrowhead brings to mind the ultimate question why. (The later, I feel is impossible to answer in conventional ways). So appreciate T-rat.com for what its worth to you, forgive me for mistakes in the site, and tell me what else you would like to see or what needs to be improved.
This is like no other website you may have ever encountered. On these pages, I hope to answer many questions as far as I can, and peruse even more. T-rat.com is intended to be a tool, a resource. Some of the writing and thoughts present here are my own. Many others are from a variety of people who have really given the subject matter a lot of thought, often lifetimes of thought, and pursuit of answers. Most of them are more experienced, or maybe just more experienced in their own areas of expertise, than I could ever hope to be. But it is all natural history, loosely defined, as paleontology, evolution, archaeology and some of what exists today, nature that surrounds me in the Sonoran Desert of southern Arizona. The resource part of
T-Rat.com, beyond the pure information, is who, what, when, where and how stuff. What makes this site different is that I've tried to make the science of paleontology, evolution, archaeology and desert ecology useful, user-friendly, and fun.
The map on the right only shows general areas of Arizona in which fossils have been found. There are thousands upon thousands of fossil collecting sites I have little or no knowlged of and I'm counting on present and future fossil hunters and archaeologist, with just a little help from me and others, to add important chapters to Arizona's ancient history. Some great new dinosaur pages for details.
The links to the left
will get you started on how to to recognize rocks that will potentially contain fossils, how to collect fossils, how to preserve and properly keep them as a scientifically valuable collection, the different ways fossils are preserved, Arizona and federal laws regarding fossil collecting, where you can purchase study specimens
or see fossil's exhibited in Arizona, a great archaeology section, and some fun stuff.

ARIZONA : SO MANY PLACES TO LOOK, SO LITTLE TIME!

PICTURES BELOW ARE LINKS
PALEOZOIC INVERTEBRATES
PETRIFIED WOOD
MESOZOIC INVERTEBRATES
MESOZOIC PLANTS
DINOSAUAR TRACKS
DINOSAURS
PALEOZOIC PLANTS
CENOZOIC MAMMALS
I WILL BE ADDING NEW STUFF CONTINUALLY; NEW PHOTOS, NEW FOSSIL COLLECTING OPPORTUNITIES, NEW EXHIBITS AND I'LL BE INCORPORATING SUGGESTIONS FROM VISITORS AND USING THEIR INSIGHTS AND WISDOM TO HELP MAKE T-RAT.COM EVEN MORE USEFUL AS A TOOL FOR DISCOVERY AND UNDERSTANDING.
So, you're invited to share in my life, and I hope you take the opportunity to utilize the links I've provided to make a much wider, and truly exciting world that I've had the privilege over the years to get a peek at. And, you'll notice, that I love to laugh at myself, at science sometimes, and especially enjoy taking a good jab at things I don't happen to agree with. The following pages are all about fossils and finding them in Arizona, and I've gone to great lengths to introduce those who visit T-Rat.com some fundamental background into a fossils taxonomy and paleo-ecology, that is, what exactly it is that they find and how those fossils fit into the biological web of life and what sedimentary rocks mean as evidence of past ecologies and eco-systems.
If you want to dig up souvenirs or trophies and have no interest any part of the science of paleontology, go to some other website and do your exploration in some other place on earth where fossils are more abundant, and the fossil record won't be nearly as affected as the loss of a rare and important fossil as it would be in Arizona.
ARCHAEOLOGY

On my pages about Arizona's archaeology, for the most part it is a guide to the 12,000 year history people here before the appearance of Europeans in the 1500s. Unlike fossils, which can exist in near infinite numbers given the depth of strata and renewal over time by erosion, what exists as the archaeological record, the remnants of hunting sites, camps, encampments, adobe villages and towns, secret caves and religious shrines, they exist as only a the thinnest surface record of what happened here and once gone, once removed, there is no record remaining at all except what is kept in a shoebox under your bed, or at best, in museum storage facilities or exhibits. Archaeology, for the purpose of this website, is a look, touch, photograph and learn opportunity. Leave the digging to the professional archaeologist and their army of dedicated volunteers. If you want to dig, volunteer for a legitimate scientific institution. What fun!
GALLERY: SOME REASONS WHY I LOVE ARIZONA

THIS SITE WAS DESIGN AND BUILD BY
GEORGE CLEMENTS

gctucson@aol.com