Along the length of Waterpocket Fold, running parallel to the fold is a much smaller formation called Oyster Shell Reef. This is a dense oyster shell fossil bed dominated by the oysters Exogyra and Pycnodonte and represents yet another form of life from Capitol Reef’s distant past.
These 100-million-year-old oysters reflect a time when a sea inundated this area and created the brackish marine conditions necessary to support this form
of life. The shells of these oysters were ultimately concentrated in the beach deposit preserved as Dakota Sandstone.