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baybay

General Question

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baybay

I am always on the look out for sites that might produce fossils, but since I am limited to the area very close to me I haven't been able to find anything. I am absolutely amazed by the teeth and vertebrates pulled out of streams/creeks I saw on this forum. I was just wondering, here in Ohio, would I be able to find any vertebrates or teeth in the creeks here? I was wondering if only certain creek or streams contained fossil material. Any tips of scouting out some locations would be great.

I am planning on searching some newly made road cuts on a golf course that is being turned into a housing development. Cannot wait until the snow melts and I can go searching!

Edited by baybay

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Fossildude19

Hello,

You should read the Site Prospecting 101 and 102 posts Located here:

http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?showtopic=1325

I've found it very informative, and useful.

And hopefully, other members here may have some "local" tips for you.

Good Luck!

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tracer

baybay -

sorry for the lack of response. i saw the post in passing through the other day and figured it'd get more responses, but in a way i fear your question was so broad, and the answer is so complex, that some might not have known where to start in responding. you really need to read up quite a bit on the internet. info is free, and you need a lot of it. the magic thing about "exposures" of all kinds that cut down into the earth are that they expose things, if the things are there. so fossil hunters tend to love roadcuts, quarries, construction zones, creeks, rivers, eroded areas, etc. that, in a nutshell, is the basic concept of why we look in those types of venues. waterways do something else - they tend to sort and aggregate stuff, like by creating gravel bars of similar-sized material. that's cool, because then we can just look at the gravel and find stuff, without spending all day long whacking on matrix, hoping for the best.

ok, all the above is great, but the problem is that fossils do not exist everywhere. it takes certain conditions to form them. another point is that many of us like particular kinds of fossils, that are only found in particular "strata", of particular ages. so an area may be filthy with fossils, but not the "right" ones you want.

so here's the plan. short, easy way, and long, hard way. short easy way is to find a fossil club near you and join it, find a paleontologist near you and ask for help, or do some good google searches and read up on fossils in your area.

the hard way is better long-term. look up a geological map of your area. carefully examine and begin learning the exposed strata and their names and ages. find information about fossils from your area and learn what strata they came from. go looking for exposures of that strata, based on your geological map information, and maybe google earth views of your area.

example - say you find on google that brachiopods have been found in the devonian baybay formation in ohio. first you figure out what a brachiopod is and whether you want any. then you look up what devonian means. then you find a geological map and look up where the baybay formation shows to be exposed. then you google and google, because it's cheaper and faster than driving around for hundreds of miles, trying to pinpoint where you're going to look, because the baybay formation might run in a band across the whole blooming state. so once you figure out where it is, try to go look at the closest exposures of it. learn to recognize what it looks like on sight, just if you're driving by it.

the fun is in the learning process. the value of the fossils are in the learning process, the knowledge of them, and the memories of what you went through to get them. it's unbelievably cool when it all starts to make sense, and you "get it". you're suddenly transported back in time millions of years, and you can see it in your mind's eye. you know the paleo environment you're looking at, and what might be found there. you've seen the seafloor from a third or maybe even half a billion years ago, and you recognize the things, and see how they were together, and you've seen other strata and other times, and the progression from lower to higher forms of life is obvious. and if you really get it, and you really love fossils, you can actually get a little chill from the discovery of some of the stuff, and the "oh yeah!" moments of epiphany as the bigger picture hits your brain. it's so unbelievably cool!!

but anyway, whatever, it's a good way of keeping your teenager from running with the wrong crowd and smoking dope, unless you accidently get both of you killed off by miscalculating mother nature's arbitrary visciousness on a given day. fossils seem briefly valueless when you just almost died trying to find them.

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tracer

just realized i didn't address your specific question about teeth and bones. depending on what you really meant, "teeth and bones" tend to be much more recent than a lot of the other fossils. a lot of what gets posted of that type of material is miocene or later. if you have current waterways that were also semi-ancient waterways, you'll perhaps find some older mammal material in it. if not, then you'll still tend to find teeth and bones, but they won't be old. that's the rub - are we looking at a five-year-old tooth or a 50,000, or even 5 million year old tooth.

try googling to see if ohio has some pleistocene or other later stuff to be found.

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MikeD

In what region of Ohio are you?

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Northern Sharks

This should help you out a bit. I know there are some nice trilobites coming from Ohio (Mt Orab/ Warren County as well as Sylvania area)

http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/Portals/10/pdf/GeoFacts/geof17.pdf

Edited by Northern Sharks

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baybay

I am near cleveland.

Thank you so much for the info everybody, I realize my question was broad. It really helps! I was just wondering if any old creek or river contained fossils and you answered my question. I plan on joining a local fossil club that goes collecting around once a month. I guess I will just have to try and do it the hard way, which is fine by me. I know ohio is very fossil rich so hopefully I can find a productive spot eventually. I can't wait until the weather gets a bit better and I can start scouting a bit.

Thank you again!

Edited by baybay

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lordpiney

i lived in ashland about ten years ago. while i was there, i did as much fossil, and artifact hunting as i could. i never found any teeth or bones while i was there, nor did i meet anyone else who had. lots of trilos, and brachs though.

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MikeD

There is a wealth of info about Ohio online. Most of what I know about is near Cincinnati. Bones, teeth and such have been found in Northern Kentucky. Look up Big Bone Lick (that's a salt lick for all you gutter-minds out there). Don't know if any of that stuff has been found near you or not. There are some posts on here about fossils from the Lake Erie area. Search the forum for Erie and Ohio. Joining the local fossil club is a great idea. Good luck.

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baybay

Thank you both for the reply. I saw some basic geographic strata maps and it seems exposures near me would be Devonian. I plan on searching some rivers near me to see if they exposed anything. One day my dream would be to find a mammoth fossil because I do know that they have been found near me. Thank you everybody for your help, I am learning more and more every day. :)

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tracer

have fun, but be careful in rivers. when you mess around there, it's a lot more important to know a lot about rivers than it is to know a lot about fossils.

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baybay

I will, As you said a great fossil isn't worth your life ^_^

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