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Found 20 results

  1. Hi. This fall I will be teaching a paleontology class for 5th and 6th graders. We will meet once a week for 55 minutes. My plan is to teach up front for about ten minutes and then for the remainder of the class to be hands on activities. I have come up with some ideas, but would love some feedback on them and any other ideas that you all might have. The first session will be an introduction to paleontology, possibly including fieldwork methods, fossil prep, ichnology and trace fossils, adaptations, cladistics, plate tectonics, etc, while the second session will be more focused on the actual organisms that we find in the fossil record and how they changed through time. The second session will build a fossil kit as the session progresses to take home at the end. Here are the topics I have come up with so far: 1. What makes a dinosaur a dinosaur, addressing the dinosaur-bird connection 2. Cladistics- using either coins or candy or both 3. Fossils and sedimentary layers, layer cake stratigraphy (not sure about using food, depends on allergies) or could use colored sand and plastic cups with animal shaped beads to be the fossils 4. Dinosaurs and speed activity, have students learn to calculate their own speed over a given distance and apply that to dinosaur foot impressions 5. Plate tectonics and fossils, have the kids reconstruct the earth 220 million years ago based on fossils found on the different puzzle pieces that the land masses have been broken up into 6. Dinosaur teeth, learning the difference between meat-eaters and plant-eaters and discuss the size of dino teeth 7. Chocolate chip cookie excavation exercise, to teach how difficult fossils can be to extract from matrix and to prepare for study 8. Activity using a pant tray covered in dirt, rocks, and some sand. Sprinkle glitter (glitter= dead animal bones) over the dirt. Then gentle rain water out of a paper cup over your pretend hillside and watch the dirt absorb the water. There is a greater chance the glitter bones will be make it into the fossil record vs. the desert. Put plastic wrap over your hillside to simulate the desert. Sprinkle on your glitter and rain over it...glitter washes away into the arroyo, bones are separated, lost, broken, etc.... --> trying to develop into a way of showing how fossils end up getting in to the fossil record more easily in a forest environment vs. a desert environment. Still only just the beginning of an idea.
  2. Hi friends! I'm new, I just stumbled across this forum and it's awesome content while searching for fossil localities near Charleston, South Carolina. I was hoping to get some tips on looking for shark teeth anywhere between Columbia and Charleston. I am taking a road trip from AZ with my family and thought it would be really great to stop and search for fossils along the way. I just can't seem to really pin down any nice spots to find some. I know fossil hunting grounds are a very hush-hush type of thing, but I was hoping that I could be pointed in the direction of somewhere where I might be able to take the kids and hopefully find 5 to 10 teeth. Is anyone willing to share a location that is easily accessible where we can find a few neat little fossils? Maybe somewhere like a road cut, an easily accessible creek, or even a pile of excavated dirt...? Thanks so much!
  3. Hi, The USGS water gauge for the Brazos River at Highway 21 (Whiskey Bridge) shows the water level at 35 ft. https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?site_no=08108700 Will any of the fossil beds be accessible with the water this high?
  4. Hi, I've just struck up a new interest in fossils (thanks Thermopolis, WY!) and I want to share it with my nephews (6 of them!). I know the fossil sorting kits you buy don't have the most exciting of specimens (Ammonite, brachiopod, clam, coprolite, coral, crinoid stem, crinoid star, dinosaur bone, gastropod, orthoceras, petrified wood, sea urchin, shark teeth, stingray teeth, and fish vertebrae), but I thought it would be a fun start if I bought a pack of them to make some DIY dig kits. The recipe I found for it is 1 part plaster of paris, 1 part water, 2 parts sand, though I'm open to other suggestions if someone knows a better mix! http://longlivelearning.com/2012/11/homemade-geology-dig-kit/#comment-164564 A few questions: Will the plaster mix damage the fossils? What is the best way to clean off the excess plaster once the kids dig them out? I've heard vinegar, is that safe/will it work? Can you recommend some other inexpensive but interesting fossil types that I could buy to mix in? Anyone have fossil/dinosaur/prehistoric life book recommendations for ages 4 - 9?
  5. I'd like to make an announcement that a new species of stegosaure has been found in Indiana... A young grad student has uncovered what appears to be a baby stegosaure that can glow in the dark! I'm sure this find will be published in all the big name magazines and that National Geographic Channel will cover down on this scientific discovery. It's great when you can share your hobby and teach your children
  6. Hunting with kids

    I've got a couple days off of work in mid June and asked my 4 and 8 year old if they want to do a mini fossil trip and they both of course said yes. I have the book Midwest gems, minerals, and fossils, but based on all the searches I've done on here, I'm guessing most of that is quite outdated. We live in Wisconsin and have done the mazon creek hunting as well as some roadcuts in Illinois, iowa, and minnesota. I was thinking indiana might be something new and fun and not too far away since I only have about 2 days. The st Leon roadcut is what got me interested, but I'm not sure what else is out there that's kid friendly and isn't going to get us in trouble. Crawfordsville would be cool, but sounds impossible for access? Are there says to get into some of these creeks in Indiana legally from the roads? I've read about giant geodes in some as well. We have waders but the little guy is only a little over 3 feet tall. I'm wondering if anyone can point me in the right direction or if I should consider somewhere else? Thanks in advance for any info.
  7. I'm in Bend for the weekend looking for destanations to look for fossils please HELP!!!
  8. I am planning a trip with my 12-year-old grandson (and future paleontologist) to a dinosaur dig this summer, and would like to get some first hand advice on choosing a good outfit. We can go about anywhere in the U.S., several days to a week, but since we'll likely be flying we can't easily bring along much gear of our own. I've researched dozens of dig sites. Some sites were outdated, some sketchy on details, some had age limits or are already filled. PaleoAdventures and Hell Creek Fossils, Dinosaurs of the Western Slopes are possibilities, but I would welcome any comments on organizations to avoid, or ones you have had a good experience with.
  9. I figured I'd share a little bit of information here. Since April of 2017, I've made a concerted effort to quench the insatiable fossil/dinosaur curiosity of my kids. Many of these field trips were actual fossil hunts themselves, but we've also gone to museums and other fossil displays. Here's a short description of some of them we've visited. I don't have a ton of pictures for the purpose of really illustrating what is available at each location...more pictures of my kiddos enjoying themselves! Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, Texas I cannot recommend this place enough. Especially for young dino-obsessed kids. The visitor center is staffed with friendly rangers and has a display area that kept my kids entertained and educated for quite awhile. The video wasn't quite exciting enough for them to really hold their attention, but they sat quietly through it - I thought it was great! The gift store is in an entirely separate building - something I appreciate. It can be hard to hold kids' attention on the exhibits when toys are lurking nearby. There are two old World's Fair dinosaur statues in the park. They are an outdated idea of what these dinosaurs were like. The signage explains this well and you get a good sense of how our knowledge has changed over the decades. Plus the kids thought they were awesome. I loved the way we explored the park - we apparently started with the least well-marked site first (because it was closest to the campground) and spent nearly an hour in the cold, damp weather tracking down the handful of theropod (probably Acrocanthosaurus) tracks at the Denio site. It gave us a true sense of discovery when we FINALLY saw them in the water. (you can see a print right between the girls) We then ventured to the main site with several long, distinct track ways of both a theropod and a sauropod (Sauroposeidon...which us Texans like to still refer to as Paluxysaurus). Also the Ballroom site which is a huge jumble of prints in every direction (possibly also iguanodonts). The sheer sense of wonder at being able to literally walk in these footprints is indescribable. Not only is the park a wonderful paleontology stop, but it's just simply a beautiful place. We went on the Black-capped Vireo Trail (plus connection trails, it was ~4 miles) and thoroughly enjoyed it...even the copperhead we startled! We also saw lots of marine fossils on the trail, but left them in place as the rules require. The Paluxy River is gorgeous and when it finally warmed up enough for us to be in the water, we didn't stray far from it. Texas Memorial Museum on UT Campus in Austin I love museums. I could spend HOURS in them…but not while toting 2 young kids. They love them too, but just don’t have the attention span for huge museums that can suck up your whole afternoon. Enter the Texas Memorial Museum. It’s PERFECT. It’s $7 for an adult, $5 for kids. It’s small, but packed with fun. The first floor takes you on a walk through time, explaining the Earth’s formation (and geology) and then leading you into a room full of fossils showing 500 million years of evolution. There’s cabinets with drawers and drawers full of neat little things in the Paleo Lab. Great for kids to explore. (can you tell T Rex is her favorite?) The second floor, the Great Hall (where you enter), has numerous gorgeous gem and mineral displays, a rotating show of nature photographs, the Texas Pterosaur – the largest flying creature discovered. The third floor features the current wildlife of Texas through taxidermy animals in dioramas. Always a favorite with the kids. And the fourth floor is about biodiversity, has some bizarre preserved specimens, and hosts travelling shows. Last time we went, the kids weren’t terribly interested (I think it was about viruses), but looking at the website now, the new show is about “Helicoprion, a bizarre 270 million year old whorl-toothed shark” …guess we need to make another visit soon! This museum is just about the right size to do after school. It closes at 5, giving us an hour and a half – perfect for not wearing out their little attention spans. I’m sure adults with no kids in tow could spend far longer in the museum though. Clayton Lake State Park near Clayton, NM On our summer road trip, I chose this as a stopping point for its convenient location, as well as the promise of dinosaur trackways. The trackways were unearthed during the construction of the reservoir. You can see them from a raised boardwalk and there’s plenty of information on the signage. (iguanodont tracks in the upper left of the photo) I have to admit that we have been completely spoiled by Dinosaur Valley State Park in TX. Still, this was well worth the stop. Not only were the tracks fun, but the single hiking trail in the park was absolutely gorgeous. There’s also plenty of interesting sandstone formations to explore. Plus, we were the ONLY ones tent camping. My kind of night. J This park is on our list of places to stop again, for sure. Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument in CO Um. WOW. What an amazing place! We spent hours looking through the fossils in the visitor center. In the shale deposits are all manner of plants and invertebrates. 1,500 different species of spiders and insects have been identified! There were also vertebrate fossils, as well as the magnificent petrified stumps you can visit on a short walk around the valley. This is another place I would love to visit again! Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center in Woodland Park, CO We’d passed by this place during our last few trips to Colorado, and finally made the effort to stop in. Glad we did! It was perhaps a bit pricey for what it was…plus the huge gift shop was a big distraction. The kids were a bit unruly that day so it wasn’t our usual, organized museum trip. I hardly had time to read any of the information. There was a puppet show (not fossil related) that took up most of our time, and we had to maneuver around a guided tour. But for a small space, this spot packed in a lot of fossils. Many of them were replicas, but that doesn’t make much of a difference to kids. My favorite was the triceratops leg with tyrannosaurus teeth marks. Still, I’m very glad we went in. There’s a working paleo lab in the back that you can peak in on people’s projects. That was neat. And THIS FISH FOSSIL! Copper Ridge and Mill Canyon Tracksites near Moab, UT My dino-obsessed cousins had a blast showing my dino-obsessed kids these trackways! I was very impressed with the signage put up by the BLM. Informative and beautiful. The Mill Canyon site in particular was spectacular. I highly recommend that one. Copper Ridge A perfect visual explanation of the tracks that can be seen just beyond this sign. Nice boardwalk that take you over the whole area.
  10. Just thought I'd log my rank beginner fossil hunting expeditions I'm taking with my kids this month! It'll help me be better at note taking, and taking pictures, too. My 5 and 7 year old girls are becoming pretty good little fossil hunters. Sometime in the last few months, it become more of a dedicated hobby rather than an accidental one ("oh look, a fossil!" while on a hike). They've always been interested in them (7 year old wants to be a paleontologist) but hikes specifically to find them have just begun. We are now going out about once a week, sometimes more. The kids spent much of their pre-school years romping around a farm, so sitting inside for 7 hours is not their favorite activity. I try to get them outside for an hour or two each afternoon. Fossil hunting is an easy excuse to hit the great outdoors! I printed out a geological map of our area. I've been working on map reading skills with them from the first day we set foot on a trail, so they are pretty good at it for their age. While I can read all about what fossils can be found in the Eagle Ford group or the Glen Rose formation, not only are my kids just learning to read, but even if they could read well, all the scientific language would be extremely daunting to them. So I'm going for more of an intuitive approach. We pick a trail, note where it is on the map, start a journal entry in our fossil book (trail name, formation, date, weather, etc), and head out. With only a few data points, my kids already have a good idea of where to go and I'm letting them pick the spots starting next week. Our Treasure Map! October 2: Edward's Limestone, 1.5 hours A single find on this trip. Well, lots of algae, tadpoles, POISON IVY and other fun items, but a single fossil find. My 7 yr old spotted it...and LOVES it. Worth the trip. There's a barely visible (in the shot - it's very clear in person) scallop-type imprint on the right face as well. She calls it her Candy Rock because it looks like a Reese's peanut butter cup! October 5: Glen Rose and Bee Cave Marl, 1.5 hours This was a fun learning experience. We started looking right at the junction of two creeks. We searching along one branch for probably 15 minutes without finding anything of significance. We switched to the other branch and were surrounded by fossils. Just 10 feet away from a "dry" location. The kids pointed out the differences between the creeks. They are getting better at spotting good hunting grounds! I think we found most of our specimens in the Bee Cave Marl, but I believe both are exposed very close to each other here. Perhaps not together in this exact location, but certainly along the creek within a close distance. Lots and lots of heavily weathered little stuff. We found a HUGE partial gastropod. I bet it would have been 20 cm long if it hadn't been broken. Didn't get a picture though! Lots of Ceratostrean texanum, Gryphea, gastropods and many "questionable" finds that the kids couldn't resist putting in the bucket. As I sort through them, I'll probably post a few to see if they really are something. Some of them were really neat...but could just be geological. Are we playing in the creek or fossil hunting? Either is fine! The unsorted haul. Willa's favorite find! My favorite find! More to come!
  11. A trip to the school

    A couple of months ago I was asked by Violet's teacher if I could do a presentation on fossils. In the uk a basic lesson on palaeontology is a part of the school curriculum. I took a range of fossils, both in type and era. Of course anything dinosaur was the most popular, in particular teeth. The kids were really interested and when it came to question time everyone's hands were raised. I was really surprised how much knowledge these 7 and 8 year olds had. Sadly time ran out too soon but I've been asked to return later in the year. I'm REALLY looking forward to going back. A couple of days later I was asked by Mrs Hayes, the teacher, to pop in and see her for 5 minutes. All the kids were there and I was presented with a lovely card, a box of chocolates (most of which Violet ate when we got home!) and a superb fossil they had made me which now resides in my collection. I wasn't allowed to take photographs of the day because of child protection but it was documented by a child with a digital camera. Dear Violet's Dad was written by Violet!
  12. Asheville/Hendersonville

    Anyone in the western part of the state have kids that are into fossils? I'm going to be in Mills River this weekend. Craig
  13. Corolla, NC Nearby for Kiddos

    So I will be heading to the Outer Banks specifically Corolla in a few months with a bunch of family. I would love to be able to introduce the Nieces and Nephews and my kiddos to Shark Teeth / Fossil hunting. Kids will be ranging in age from 8 yrs to 3 months old and about 10 of them. SO I am looking for some recommendations on spots that are closer to the northern Outer Banks ie Corolla... Key factors include: Distance/Time to arrive at location Easy of finding goodies Potential for bathrooms(not a deal breaker) Other attractions in the area. I have been recommended so far: Aurora Fossil Museum including Fossil pit Shark Tooth Island Top Sail Beach Onslow Beach (Acess is not a problem) South Beach Colonial Beach Westmorland State Park York River state park Matoaka Lake ( I have this listed I cannot find who told me thou) Colonial Park Fossil pit on Roanoke Island Currently Colonial Park Fossil Pit is winning due to fufilling most of the requirements... Could anyone please share their thought on these locations for the above described scenario? Does anyone one know how successful the Fossil Pit on Roanoke Island is? I did call the park and it is still there but hasn't got new material since last summer.(probably won't by the time I get there also) We don't need to find record breaking fossils tiny or common is ok as long as the success rate is pretty high. I can source plenty of hand tools for them to use and am currently building atleast 10 kiddo sized screens in 1/4 and 1/2 inch screen so they all will have one to use then take home. Can anyone recommend some kiddo specific gear I also might want to line up? Thanks!
  14. Peace River

    Good Morning! Newbie here, I am bringing my 4 and 5 year old grand sons down to Florida over Christmas break. I would like to take them to the Peace River for fossil hunting. Is there any kind of guided tour that could help. I have never been and honestly have no clue where to start.If anyone could point me in the right direction, I would be very grateful. Thanks in advance! Darlene
  15. When I go fossil hunting it is always with my 4 kids who are 7 years old and younger. I've been trying to find books and read posts on here about fossil hunting etiquette to make sure that we are following the rules of the land. I recently read the one post about people digging out massive holes on a creek bed, leading to people falling as well as devastation to the wildlife in the area. When I'm with my kids I always try to get them to hunt in a way that leaves the slope of the area natural so that one doesn't create unstable areas where people can get hurt. I understand sometimes that fossil you want though is in the middle, and you might just have to chisel it out, versus taking down an entire wall. My biggest question is this I guess.... Is it ok for the kids to do a lot of excavation? My kids find the part of digging and hammering limestone more fun than just looking at what is lying around on the ground. Sometimes this can be a decent chunk of material. They aren't digging up anything really scientifically significant, so from a science standpoint, I don't think it is impacting anything. I make sure like I said that they are not destroying natural sloping. One place we collect sometimes is under a bridge so I make sure that they are not digging anywhere that will affect the structural integrity of the bridge(although unfortunately it is apparent that others do so). I always try my best to raise my kids right with good manners, and just want to make sure I'm doing the same when we're out fossil hunting. When I went to Minnesota this last summer they took down a good size chunk of wall with some other children, and it just got me thinking. I was sorting through their pile, and they looked through it some too, but I just wonder what the community's view is on kids and their activities.
  16. Hello everyone, If you will be traveling through Montana this summer, you are invited to visit the Great Plains Dinosaur Museum in Malta, Montana, part of the Montana Dinosaur Trail. The museum has many great dinosaur exhibits including a real articulated Brachylophosaurus duck-billed dinosaur skeleton and the skull and neck of a new species of sauropod. We are also the home of the famous "Leonardo" dinosaur mummy specimen (currently on tour at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis, but we have an impressive 3-D printed replica and lots of informational displays). The Great Plains Dinosaur Museum also offers dinosaur dig programs for adults and children 11 and older, as well as Junior Paleo Digs and Lab programs. Please visit our website for details on our programs, dates, and rates. http://www.greatplainsdinosaurs.org/index.php/museum-programs/adult-field-experience This summer the Great Plains Dinosaur Museum will be partnering with the Two Medicine Dinosaur Center for our adult dino digs to excavate a Triceratops skeleton south of Malta in the Hell Creek Formation. We are hoping to find the skull this year! The specimen is being collected on private land, and all material collected is donated to the Great Plains Dinosaur Museum for research and display. I will be working at the Great Plains Dinosaur Museum all summer, so I hope some Fossil Forum members will come by to say hello! No matter where your travels take you, I hope you have a great paleo-filled summer!
  17. Recently, I found myself visiting my family because they were camping not too far down the road at Edgar Evins State Park in DeKalb County, TN. I had heard that Center Hill Lake is a great place for fossils, so I was eager to see what I could find. My youngest sister who is ten years old (15 years age difference between us) was THRILLED to be A ) hanging out with big sister, and B ) going fossil hunting! I made sure she knew ahead of time that we could not actually *take* anything we found since we were in a state park. Honestly, I did invite everyone else come along too, but all the other grown-ups wanted to do was sit around the fire. We picked our way down to the lake. The water was high and there was not a nice beach to speak of. However, there were lots and lots of boulders. My sister said that she and our dad had climbed on them the day before to see how far they could throw sticks and nuts into the water. I immediately started spotting fossils embedded in the rocks. This was the first sign that we were in for a fossil-filled afternoon: The boulders in some places were practically made of fossils. Her reaction: "I can't believe I was out here with Daddy yesterday standing on all these fossils and didn't even notice!" We found lots of nice little cephalopod fossils. These were the biggest cephalopods we found. She was amazed! I told her that people have found truly enormous ones in other parts of the world. The fossils are weathering away with the limestone. Druzy quartz appears to have filled this one! Not sure what kind of fossil it is. I explained that this was an extinct relative of squids etc. I also pointed out the brachiopods all through the rocks. After hearing what kinds of creatures used to live here as evidenced by the fossils, she exclaimed with wonder, "So all this used to be under the sea!" She's quick! All in all, it was a very fulfilling afternoon, even though we didn't take a single fossil home with us. We still have photos and memories (and some silly sisters-with-fossils-selfie shots not posted here). I'm a pretty enthusiastic person, but there is something about seeing a kid get excited about something that makes it all even more fun! It was my little sister's very first fossil hunt. She could not stop talking about it for the rest of the day. I think I've successfully infected her with fossil fever!
  18. Fossil Hunting

    From the album Fossils in the Wild

    Sharing the joy of fossil hunting in ordovician limestone with the next generation. "So this area used to be under the sea?" Leipers-Catheys limestone
  19. A Meeting With The Mouse!

    The K-Boys have an upcoming appointment with Mickey. The oldest wants to hunt along the way from TX. The trilobites in the Marble Mountains sound fun, but I don't think we'll have time to get that way. Plus, I read on here somewhere that that area is now off limits. Are there any places along I-10 from Phoenix to Riverside that we can hit along the way? Any road-site stops (we tend to pull over quite a bit already)? We spend most of our lives in the lower cretaceous and are ready to see something different. Thanks in advance for your help.
  20. Skippy's Free Kids Fossil Hunt

    THIS WAS A GREAT DAY FEB 15 AT NOON IN THE COMOX VALLEY SKIPPY THE FOSSIL FREAK GAVE AWAY OVER 1000 BAGS WITH FOSSILS and over 500 local fossils to the freaky cool kids of V[attachm
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