Guest N.AL.hunter

For The New Collectors,

53 posts in this topic

We each want to find some new exciting form of fossil, but what should a new collector, or just a person seeking help, do when they find a 'suspect' rock/fossil? Well, first I recommend that they search the Internet for the term 'fossils' and use the Image category. Familiarize yourself with the types of fossils that are out there. Books are also a good source. Try the common ones like the ones from the Smithsonian Field Guide series.

Also consider where the item was found. If it was found amongst a lot of volcanic material, or in a pile of Granite or Schist, or some other form of Igneous or Metamorphic material, then the chances are rarer (very rare) that it is a fossil. Most fossils are found in Sedimentary rocks like Limestone, Shale, Sandstone. IF you do not know what these terms mean, look them up too.

Look at the item carefully and see if there are: parallel lines, bumps or small pits in a uniform pattern, any sort of symmetry radiating out from a center point, patterns that do look like something you are familiar with (seashells for example). There are things that occur naturally that resemble fossils, and they can trick people. They are called Pseudofossils, and you can see a common one here: http://engineering.curiouscatblog.net/imag...nese_oxides.jpg

Looks a lot like a fossil plant/fern, but it is not.

Most fossil bone material will have a 'pithy' look to it somewhere on the specimen. Bones are not solid masses.

I am sure that other members can add to this posting on how to determine if what you have is a fossil or not.

3 people finds this informative

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Pinned. :) I agree completely with this topic it, yes there will always be interesting rocks that look like fossils I've done it and I think everyone has. I think more research on the finders part it needed.

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It's a good idea but you can't count on people reading stickied/pinned items before posting or using the search function for that matter.

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the link doesn't seem to work for me

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Neither, did it work for me. HERE is a link to a Wiki page on pseudofossils.

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the link doesn't seem to work for me

Didn't work for me either but I copy/pasted it into the address bar and it worked. Very neat even if it ain't a fossil

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Cool Rock! Those are Psuedofossils, but thee neat thing is that they are likely Salt Crystal impressions. As Dolomite is formed in fairly saline conditions it is not surprising. I'll post a photo of some I found a few years back later.

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Cool Rock! Those are Psuedofossils, but thee neat thing is that they are likely Salt Crystal impressions. As Dolomite is formed in fairly saline conditions it is not surprising. I'll post a photo of some I found a few years back later.

You are correct... the psuedo fossils are created by salt crystal impression as this area during the Silurian age was believed to be a hypersaline lagoon filled with eurypterids and the shore line had Cooksonia thriving on the banks. PL

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What was 'fooling me' in several respects is the formations...

ref: http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?showtopic=10451

I have noticed that corals do form patterns, like fractals. I have studied corals in their real environment when diving, and know that they are organized, but separate: colonies.. of living things that mass together to form a group.

This lead to my original puzzlement. Also noticed what could be considered a 'crystal' pattern, but could not discern the difference, as I know very little to date about fossils...so came here for answers, knowing a group such as this held within it people more studied than me on these matters.

edit part: I did google this, extensively, and still came up with no discernable answer, so asked here for help

Edited by goldenorb

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:unsure: I agree as well.Keep in mind though in central Fl.we have fossil mud/clay balls with fossils inside.Have found anything from blades of grass to shark teeth.

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:unsure: I agree as well.Keep in mind though in central Fl.we have fossil mud/clay balls with fossils inside.Have found anything from blades of grass to shark teeth.

Can you show us an example of a Florida fossil mud-ball with fossils inside? I've never seen one from Florida. Generally, where do you go in Florida to collect fossil mud-balls?

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post-3661-021206900 1279231213_thumb.jpgI am new to this site and would like for some one to id this fossil for me.

Thought at first it was a tooth but after a closer look I think it maybe a finn from a fish.

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post-3661-021206900 1279231213_thumb.jpgI am new to this site and would like for some one to id this fossil for me.

Thought at first it was a tooth but after a closer look I think it maybe a finn from a fish.

Hi there!

Here's what I'd like to ask you to do:

>Start a new topic in the ID section, instead of adding it to an existing one.

>Take a sharp, well-lit picture, with a ruler for scale.

>Tell us where it was found.

This should fast-track your answer by getting it to a large audience and providing them with what they need to propose an ID. :)

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I was fooled awhile back - found in Wyoming what appeared to be a fossilized creature in scoria.

After consulting several Palentologists, the general consensus was that the mysterious figure eas formed by air bubbles in the scoria!

post-6402-0-81850500-1311402402_thumb.jpg

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I was fooled awhile back - found in Wyoming what appeared to be a fossilized creature in scoria.

After consulting several Palentologists, the general consensus was that the mysterious figure eas formed by air bubbles in the scoria!

weird air bubble huh? way weird man!!!!!!

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Thank you in advance for helping with anything that I post. I understand the frustration with people that may post prematurely. You see, some people will come to the forums because they know that you guys are the ones that see a lot and are very knowledgeable because it is your passion. I am a full time mother of 2 boys and work a 40 hr week. I love to rock hunt in what spare time I have (which is very little). I sometimes find things that I do not want to get rid of and are questionable. You guys are very important in helping people like me. I appreciate the help I might acquire from you people. If not for people like you, things would sit in a box somewhere and be lost or hidden forever. I try to id on my own but...there are so many things that look like something else. Your knowledge is appreciated and I hope I do not bring on any frustration :)

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Since this is for beginners " I would suggest, If it looks different: in color, texture,composition, pattern...keep it till you find out WHY". This is the best way to learn. I have found nautiloids that looked little more than concretions. Just because you can't identify something YET doesn't mean it won't be the prize of your collection when you finally do. Some of my best fossils were no more than compacted dirt inside a concretion, if I hadn't recognized them as having potential and coated them with glue/water solution, they would be gone. Be cautious, Be curious, don't be in a hurry. It is better to end up with a bucket of Psudofossils than to throw out one important piece you undervalued. John

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Don't be afraid to ask the questions. Everytime I collect I get home and go through my specimens and always have a couple that I look at and ask myself "why did I pick this up?" Most of the time it's just a rock, but sometime you find something neat. Besides, all true fossil collectors have a "rock" garden.

The only stupid question is the one not asked. Happy hunting!!

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