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Ethical Excavation?


Trilobite Enthusiast

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Trilobite Enthusiast

Hello everyone,

 

I am new to the forum, and new to fossil hunting, and I was wondering about what the process of fossil hunting is supposed to look like.

 

A couple days back, I went to fossil hunt at the Deep Springs Road side.

 

There was a fossil that looked like club moss which went into the rock wall near the top of a ledge.

 

Because I wanted the whole fossil intact, I attempted to excavate the fossil out of the wall by levering up the shale above the fossil using my rock hammer.

 

I figured that this would be okay, but I was still left wondering whether excavation of fossils out from the rock wall was allowed or not.

 

Is it frowned upon to excavate fossils from the rock formation? Should I only be splitting rocks that have already fallen from the wall, or is it fine to dig out of the formation?

 

Here is a picture of the club moss looking fossil, if anyone more knowledgeable wants to identify it for me:

 

 

 

 

IMG_7013.jpg

IMG_7014.jpg

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Yes, it is fine. If you do a search on the forum for Deep Springs Road, you will likely encounter a number of our forum meet-ups / field trip reports at that location where some excavation is the norm. 

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Tidgy's Dad

The fossil appears to be a bryozoan. How big was it? 

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Trilobite Enthusiast
2 minutes ago, Tidgy's Dad said:

The fossil appears to be a bryozoan. How big was it? 

The part that I got is around 5cm long and 1cm wide

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Trilobite Enthusiast

Here's a picture of the fossil on graph paper

IMG_7015.thumb.JPG.a3f464b4adc1c99bba6cc3865a192dde.JPG

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FossilDAWG

I think it is a piece of a pleural segment of a Dipleura trilobite.

 

Don

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Jeffrey P

I agree with Don. That is a part of the large trilobite, Dipleura. Most of the good fossils I've found at DSR were excavated. 

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Fossildude19

Yup. Dipleura dekayi thoracic segment.

Digging rocks out of the formation there is fine. The Owner uses the rock for roadway fill, so he is fine with us breaking it up.

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9 hours ago, Fossildude19 said:

Digging rocks out of the formation there is fine. The Owner uses the rock for roadway fill, so he is fine with us breaking it up.

I've only had the pleasure of visiting this site once while passing through the area (a memorable day with numerous friends from the forum).

 

Unlike many sites where it is decidedly bad form (and usually illegal) to go excavating into the formation, this private site is a notable exception. As Tim mentioned, the way it was explained to me is that the owner occasionally loads up the broken rock for fill. All of the sweat and effort but into making little rocks out of big ones that fossil hunters do while searching for fossil goodness does little more than make it easier for the owner to scoop up loose material when he needs it. This is a rare case of a happy win-win situation and I hope it persists so that fossil hunters will be able to enjoy the site for some time in the future. Needless to say the site should still be respected and should remain free of trash and treated as the treasure that it is. ;)

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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FossilJen

Welcome to the forum! I'm lucky enough to live about 1/2 an hour from DSR. Yes, we hack away at the rock. In my case usually with little to show for it, but it's rather therapeutic.

Funny story--the very first time I stopped there with my older son (having found mention of it here on The Fossil Forum), there were other people there, and I was worried they were the owners and we were not really supposed to be there and we would be kicked out. It just happened to be @Fossildude19 and @Jeffrey P! Then, finding out they were real fossil hunters, I was worried that my son and I, not having a clue, would get on their nerves. Nope! They were wonderful, and welcoming, and helpful. Since then I've run into other fossil hunters at DSR, and have enjoyed fossiling with Tim and Jeff again, and everyone has been great. Fossil people are the best people :D

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39 minutes ago, FossilJen said:

Fossil people are the best people :D

You've learned one of the great truths. ;)

 

It still amazes me how much fun we have and how much we learn when we are able to meet up with TFF members outside of the forum.

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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