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  1. Hello, My wife and I recently returned from the Green River Formation in SW Wyoming and have about 20 decent fish fossils. The limestone was wet from snow melt and is currently drying out on a table. My question is, what is the best medium to use to seal them forever? I have read about using Elmers-Glue All, Butvar and other resins, and clear lacquer. I read through some posts on this but they seemed more focused on cleaning/detailing the fossils which I have done as much as I am willing to risk already with an air blower and dental pick. Once they are dry, what is the best me
  2. Greetings! I just learned about pyrite disease and got really scared. Is it really common to happen to a fossil? Is it present this possibility for every fossil? How do I recognize it if it starts happeningnon a fossil? How to prevent it from happening? How do I stop it if it happens? Please help me because I start to become paranoid....
  3. Does anyone know of deposits other than the LeGrand crinoids where each species is preserved in a different characteristic color, all on the same slab? We have this kind of thing in the brachiopods and trilobites of the Decorah Formation (Late Ordovician) here in Missouri, which is what got me thinking about it. But I've never seen a report summarizing other cases of this phenomenon, and as I think about it I'm not sure I can name any others. Can you? Brachiopod photo info: A= Zygospira B= Rafinesquina C= Doleroides 1 = Isotelus, rusty brown 2 = ?Achatella, light gray
  4. Hi there! I am brand new to the forum, but have been a fossil lover all my life. I am hoping to learn the best way to preserve sandstone leaf fossils. I've been finding them since I was a kid and my mother use to coat they in polyurethane, I believe. I'm just not convinced this is the best practice. I imagine the chemicals would deteriorate the stone overtime? Anyways, I would appreciate any and all advice. Thanks in advance! Dea
  5. Just a silly curious question, but I thought I'd throw it out there. What is the oldest identifiable organic material that could be found? In case this is not phrased correctly, what I mean is "What is the oldest bone we could expect to find that would actually be bone, and not a mineral replacement?" I am aware that Mary Schweitzer may have found blood vessels and osteocytes in a T-rex limb. Are there any other things that may have been preserved in their original state as long, or longer than, this one?
  6. pachy-pleuro-whatnot-odon

    Preservation of colour in fossil shells

    Hi all, Some time ago I found this shell in (what I believe to be) the French Upper Muschelkalk (Triassic). Now I'm not into shells myself, but to judge from the remains of operculum on the underside of it, the specimen concerns an oyster. Most strikingly, however, the shell has a pattern of darker-coloured lines that do not correspond to any three-dimensional/elevational differences on the shell surface - which is, in fact, entirely flat. I haven't seen this on a fossil shell before. Now when doing a Google search for my response on whether it would be possible for cru
  7. Tales From the Shale

    Graptolite Preservation

    These are graptolites I dug out of an Athens Shale outcrop. They're fragile, so I am questioning whether it is better to leave them be, or seal them somehow? And if so, the best substance to get the job done. Thanks in advance. I have trilobites in shale too, so im hoping I can extrapolate from the answer here.
  8. Hi all, Just got back from my second trip to Shark Tooth Hill and wanted some advice on how to preserve these teeth. Mako? how would you prep these buggers for long term display?
  9. Hello. I recently acquired a fairly high-quality Edestus specimen (9 inches long; with two 'complete' teeth and two partial teeth). Location: Lively Grove, Illinois. However, when it arrived I immediately noticed an artificially added dark-purple colored type of "stain" material that is covering significant parts of several teeth. (Please see attached photos). I know that it's common to glue the entirety of Edestus fossils owing to the materials' fragility, but I've never encountered an additional 'stain' like this. Notably, the enamel looks a bit 'restored' in
  10. I have a large piece of soft limestone from Lake Texoma. It contains an external mold of both a large and small ammonites. These are the first cephalopods I've ever found, and I'd like to preserve them. Any suggestions?
  11. Hi all, I’m excited to be going on a field trip with a a group in Illinois (ESCONI) later this month to a site that has a huge mound of mined-up Pennsylvanian shale. There may be some carbon-film plant impressions there. I’ve never collected this type of fossil before, and I’ve heard that carbon films can disappear quickly when exposed to the air. My question is should I bring something to coat this type of fossil? And if so, what? In doing some research, I see that some people recommend spray-on Krylon while others recommend against it. Would brushing on a thin coat of Paraloid do t
  12. Hello, I recently got this section of fossilized squid pen of the giant squid Tusoteuthis longa, from the Cretaceous Niobrara Chalk of Kansas, USA. It measures about 7cm long. After receiving it I realized that it seemed rather unstable, with small "splinters" flaking off like a fragile piece of wood. I hear it is recommended to consolidate vertebrate bones with something like Butvar B-76, but what about something like this squid pen? I don't know what the material even is. Does anyone have experience preserving these? Thanks.
  13. Tidgy's Dad

    How to Become a Fossil.

    From BBC News : https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20220324-how-to-maximise-your-chances-of-being-fossilised
  14. Hello all, I have a small baleen whale skull that I need to preserve. It was found on a beach and the sun had bleached it. After a short time it has started to flake, crack and sort of fall apart. It's very aged and porous, is there something I can coat it in to preserve it?
  15. Hello! I'm considering coating some of my delicate fossils in Paraloid (mixed with Acetone), to seal them and protect them for the future. How long would a typical, let's say, Green River fish take to decompose without such or similar techniques applied? I am very wary of doing irreversible acts to the rocks, so, how would one de-Paraloid a fossil, and would there be any damage? Just, any tips whatsoever would help, I'm feeling pretty inadequate about all this
  16. Hello, I'm considering this crinoid, listed as Eucalyptocrinus crassus. It is about 6cm. I was wondering if there looks to be any reconstruction/repair, and if the preservation quality looks to be good/bad/typical of these specimens? I'm not an expert on these but from what I understand this specimen has the arms attached and preserved on the crown, but it is a little crushed? I'd like to add it to my collection if it's in decent state. Thanks.
  17. (First post so sorry if there are formatting errors) Yesterday I took my first fossil hunting trip ever and had some beginners luck! I went to Cory’s Lane in RI and stayed for about an hour and a half. I found a few pieces (pics below) that I’m really proud of. I’m not sure if the large one with big lines in it is a fossil so if anyone knows that would be great. All that said, I still have no idea what I did right (or what I was doing wrong). Some members told me that I should go for the dark grey shale and not the graphite-black stuff, which I tried to do. I was a
  18. Hi all! I recently bought these two pieces of mammoth tusk that have been fished up from the North Sea during the 80ties. The current owner inherited them and didn't know if they had been desalinized. The larger one was badly preserved and coated with some sort lacquer with all kinds of ugly blobs. I did 3 passes of 400 grit water resistant sandpaper on both of them which removed all the old gunk from the larger one and smoothed both of the tusks out nicely. As you can see in the pictures they both have some cracks, the larger one gets up to abo
  19. So I have recently gotten into collecting fossils. Nothing serious, but I really want to make sure I don't screw it up! So I want to ask around and see if I should invest in a nice carrying case? I just keep my fossils in an open wooden box. Usually, they are either in jars or small cardboard boxes with cotton/paper strips for a cushion. I imagine that once I start adding more specimens, there will be a tipping point, and ill run out of space (which is soon, unfortunately). Does anyone recommend a specific product, or should I establish some foam padding in a small plastic container? I wa
  20. Hi everyone! I have this middle section of a trilobite from the south pit at Arkona, but it’s very fragile. I’ve already lost some of it, so I’m looking for tips to keep it safe.
  21. Hello! As I fall further into this very enjoyable rabbithole, I have enough of a collection now to put some additional time into taking care of it. The fossils I have are primarily trilobites, and I think mostly calcite on limestone matrix, though I’m not informed enough to say if any portion is composed of pyrite/another mineralization. Any tips for keeping everyone in good shape? Is sunlight rough on fossils? Any requirement to maintain moisture/avoid excess humidity? pH considerations? Balanced Breakfast? Thanks! best, Noah
  22. When faced with a radiodont appendage fossil; How does one effectively determine which slab contains the "part" or "counterpart" ? For reference, here's the holotype Pseudoangustidontus appendage. The first pic, Figure A, is apparently the positive(?) "part" of the fossil. Whilst the second pic, Figure C, is apparently the negative(?) "counterpart". Like it's easy to tell the difference between an impression/cast, or the actual fossilised remains for hard-bodied specimens like shells, exoskeletons and bone. But for some soft-bodied organisms, it's especially difficult when bot
  23. I have several fossils that have crystallized shells. I would like any advice on preparing the fossil without having the crystallized structure disintegrated. See example photo and the crystals structures around the edges of the spiral. Thanks. .
  24. Hi Members, I'll start off by saying that I'm a complete newbie in the fossil/dinosaur world, so please forgive me for using incorrect terminology. I have just come to acquire a complete Psittacosaurus mounted skeleton (see photos), that is mostly intact on the mount. The previous owner had a box of manus parts (phalanges, etc.). She also had an old tube of adhesive in that box (B-7000 in the "parts" photo). I would like to "restore" the structure via glueing the loose parts back onto the skeletal structure. I am looking for advice on which adhesive to use, e.g. should I use the B-7000
  25. Hi im and amateur collector and I'm not sure if the was the right section to post this under. I purchased this tusk a couple years ago. The seller said he's had it since the 1970s. Because of the large crack from top to bottom and the inside is quite powdery. Is there and thing I can do to preserve it? Its about 6.5 feet along the curve and 120lb so I get worried when I move it. Also I see that great patina on some tusks is that something that is added 5o make it shine or does it comes out of the ground like that? Any help would be appreciated!
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