". . . a massive exposure of the ancient Capitan Barrier reef. The reef, a limestone formation, was created from lime secreted by algae when this area was covered by a shallow sea. The sea dissipated and the reef uplifted, resulting in extensive cavern systems formed within the reef, with magnificent and curious formations." webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:0gdrhlNLHvo...
"The Guadalupe Mountain Range itself is an exposed portion of the ancient Capitan barrier reef. Most of the Guadalupe Ranger District is the back-reef, where sedimentary limestone formations are rich with Permian Age fossils. The District varies in elevation from 3,500 feet on the northern part to 7,500 feet on the southern part of the District."
"The Permian period lasted from 290 to 248 million years ago and was the last period of the Paleozoic Era." www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/permian/permian.html
Coral reef between Alamogordo and High Rolls