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I Still Have My Very First Fossil. Do You?


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Ive been collecting fossils for 45 years and still have my FIRST fossil treasures, nothing great but---

1st pic: This is Before I even knew what a fossil looked like (seems like back in the Pleistocene). I used to peruse/play in the tidepools near my home. when i was very young 4th grade. i had heard there were "fossils" found now and then in the same area, so I always kept my eyes pealed for fossils. on this particular outing i finally found a great fossil (so i thought). i was soooo happy and showed it off regularley. even took it to show and tell at school. In the years since ive concluded it is probably NOT a fossil, and to this day i cant figger WHAT it is. although it does have a special place in my fossil cabinit. Any ideas?

2nd pic is a shot of my first "real" fossiI. I went to the mountains on a 6th grade camp out. one sunny day we went for a hike up a small dry river bed. On the way up the cobbely "path" I kept noticing odd contrasting marks in the stream worn rocks. So on the way back I convinced the leader to slow down so I could look closer at the fossils in the rocks. I was very excited, as these obviously were FOSSILS. I found a small clam that I could carry easily. And brought my treasure back to camp in my pocket. And to this day too I love my sweet little first real fossil. I do know now, it is a Miocene pelecypods with well defined dendrites. But I didn't then. it seemed a lot bigger back then too.

I realize this topic was asked only a few months ago but I didn't know how to post pics then.

Does anyone else have a "first fossil" story? We'd love to hear it.

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Edited by PRK
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Uncle Siphuncle

yes i still have my entire childhood collection of found (ordovician of cincinnati) and purchased (cincy mnh gift shop and defunct local store called what on earth) specimens. first good personal find - complete enrolled isotelus trilobite from caesar creek in 1980 at age 10.

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No .... wish I did, my mother cleaned out the basement after I moved out following university manymany years ago and my box of fossils was one of the victims of that purge. If I recall it was a straight cephalopod of some type found in the Kingston, Ontario, Canada area. In hindsight I had nothing all that spectacular just some brachs and cephaplopods for the most part. Definately no trilobites.

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I can't say I have the very first fossil I picked up but I do have most of my first "collection". It was all from about 1968-1970 and I was all of 10-12 years old. Brassfield Limestone (Lower Silurian) near Dayton, OH. It has been reorganized and cataloged but most of the specimens are just as I found them. Here are a few examples.

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Probably this:

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I found it somewhere in the Ozarks of Missouri (Cambrian-Mississippian) when I was 10 or 11. This was years before I 'officially' started a collection.

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Bought some shark teeth at a garage sale as a kid... still have them but that doesn't count. Found my first fossil at age 21 and still have it... an oreodont skull.

Edited by jpc
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My first fossil was collected in Hayes Kansas when I was 9. Dr. Frank Potter took us around to manyy famous sites including where the fish in the fish fossil was found,. I have an oyster from that Site. I have been a rockhounding fossilizer since

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Crinoid Queen

Idk if i sill have my "first one" or not I picked up so many rocks and thingies growing up in CA before I really started collecting around 12 years of age when I moved to MI. I dont even remember what I found first. I know this was my first fossil I was totally excited about and will never forget the day I found this walking home from school cutting threw the corn field. I didn't find out what it was till about 7 years latter in college on a trip to the Field Museum what it actually was. It is a rare type of rugrose coral called Dibonophylum bipartium that is only found around the grate lakes and places in Europe. They also told me is one of the largest they had ever seen! still a great member of my collection!

http://www.thefossilforum.com/uploads/1237687088/tn_gallery_1179_343_266.jpg

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PRK

I do too - somewhere in a drawer. I think the first fossil I ever had was a small shark tooth given away to kids at Taco Bell back in the early 1970's. Am I the only person that remembers that? That got lost somewhere along the way.

Around 1978, I found a partial bivalve shell on a piece of sandstone during a family trip to Capitola, California. It wasn't complete but I knew it was a fossil so I kept it. I got into fossils about nine years later.

I didn't know the age then but figured it was well after the dinosaurs died out. Later, I realized it was probably from the Upper Purisima Formation, Pliocene age.

Jess

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've grown up around fossils, so when my first one was I don't know. But my first memorable one was when I was around 3 in 1984. We went to the famous White Mound site in Oklahoma and when we got there my father was describing what a trilobite looked like. I reached down and said "like this?". It was also the trip where I learned I really did not like vultures, but that's another story...

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Unfortunately, I don't know what my very first fossil is because I went to a beach to collect shark teeth. It was the first saturday of january in 1996. Once my friends showed up and showed me where and how to collect, I started picking up small fossil shark teeth. I do know from that day a few particular finds that are still set apart in my collection; my very first C. chubutensis (posterior) and first lower cowshark with no root. Other than those two shark teeth, not sure what else I found that day. Sorta wish I had the foresight to take the very first tooth I found and set it aside as "my first ever", but oh well. I also know which Meg is my very first. Other than that, it's all a blur in the several hundred thousand teeth I have now :)

Daryl.

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I collected my first fossils when I was ten years old, at summer camp. The camp was in northwestern NJ, from which we made an overnight field trip to somewhere across the river in the Poconos of Pennsylvania, where we did the collecting. I know I came home with some crinoid segments and bivalves. There were probably brachiopods, too, but I didn't know what those were, at the time.

I left those fossils home when I moved out, years later, and after that they were given away (with my permission) to a neighbor's grandson. And that was the limit of my collecting experience, until I started volunteering for PRI, two years ago. As I said when I joined the forum, it's made me feel like a kid, again! :)

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  • 1 month later...

I love these stories, and the fact that this topic inspired enough that you all respond!

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Terry Dactyll

Yes... and it was an ammonite from Scunthorpe found on a museum trip...

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Isn't it amazing though that although we all seemed to get the bug when introduced into our respective hobbies, that when we show or take others with us on a hunt, that they don't always get as excited? I have taken several people, some more than once, on a fossil hunt, and even made sure they found some decent stuff - none of them ever got interested in going or starting up the hobby themselves. I guess that's why I don't collect stamps or coins, etc. I've had folks in those hobbies show me their collections, and although impressive, I never got the desire to run out and start collecting stamps or coins. How could you should someone a 5" Meg and they not want to get interested? Good thing I guess, means more teeth for me :)

Daryl.

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Isn't it amazing though that although we all seemed to get the bug when introduced into our respective hobbies, that when we show or take others with us on a hunt, that they don't always get as excited? I have taken several people, some more than once, on a fossil hunt, and even made sure they found some decent stuff - none of them ever got interested in going or starting up the hobby themselves. I guess that's why I don't collect stamps or coins, etc. I've had folks in those hobbies show me their collections, and although impressive, I never got the desire to run out and start collecting stamps or coins. How could you should someone a 5" Meg and they not want to get interested? Good thing I guess, means more teeth for me :)

Daryl.

But yet many of those same people have gotten into fishing, which is quite similar to fossil hunting when you think about it. Go figure.... :)

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PA Fossil Finder

No. But I do have my first shark tooth. It was a slightly broken squalicorax tooth, from Myrtle Beach in South Carolina. It is the only in my collection!

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I can close my eyes and see my first fossil; a chunk of crystallized horn coral from Wayzata, Minnesota. I was six.

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Paleoworld-101

Yep, still got my first fossil :)

A 20 dollar Diplomystus dentatus fish from a museum gift shop at age 10. Even i couldn't have known that it would be the beginning of something big.

Edited by Paleoworld-101
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yep, a quarter sized horn coral found at the beach in Ocean City NJ almost about 15 years ago

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I do too - somewhere in a drawer. I think the first fossil I ever had was a small shark tooth given away to kids at Taco Bell back in the early 1970's.

Did you exchange it for an enchirito? :)

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No, remember the Bellbeefer?

Did you exchange it for an enchirito? :)

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No, remember the Bellbeefer?

That does not ring a bell (no pun intended).

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