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California Sand Dollars

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  • It s been a while since Ive been on the site, Life interupted our family fossiling adventures for a while. Our daugther, who pretty much leads our fossil and rock hound adventures has gone off to college to become a paleontogist. She was home for the holidays and we had the chance to visit Eureka CA, Samoa Point shortly after the 6.2 earthquake on December 20th. We have noticed in past visits that shortly after quakes large number of fossilized sand dollars appear on the beaches of Somaoa. this is the result of less than half an hour of walking the beach on a rainy sunday afternoon. Hope you enjoy our finds and hope to post more often in the future
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Nice! It's been years since my last trip to that part of the west. Never knew about this location. Used to hit a spot south of Eureka along some train tracks that had a ton of sand dollars and clams in a cliff face.

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On 1/11/2022 at 1:47 PM, Oxytropidoceras said:

A previous post about these fossils is "How to clean & store sand dollar fossil for newbie."

By Norcalnovice, August 21, 2020 in Questions & Answers, Fossil Forum.



Paul H.


These sand dollars appear to be from a different formation from the ones around San Francisco - coarser-grained sand perhaps.  It might be possible to pick off some of the sand with a pin vise/dissecting needle or perhaps shave some off with a scalpel.  Some sand dollar/mollusk fragments many still be cemented too closely to a sand dollar to cleanly separate it.  The sand dollars are likely more fragile than the sand stuck on them.  I would try soaking the most beat-up piece in white vinegar (weak acetic acid) for 5 minutes and see if that helps loosen any sand.  Then try it for 10 minutes, then try it for 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, etc.   Find the sand dollar surface and work carefully into the sand while trying to avoid chipping into the sand dollar.



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