Bev

A Beginner's Guide To Fossil Hunting

32 posts in this topic

Good job! We'll pin this for ease of reference by all future fossilers :)

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Wow, Auspex! GREAT!

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Good job, Bev.

I think there is more to consider - you might want to do a 2nd section covering the care/storage/curation of a fossil collection - the most important part of which is to record as precisely as possible where each fossil was found, in the off-chance that any of them might be of scientific importance! The exact info need not be revealed on TFF in the ID section or whatever (just approximately, as you say), but it might be needed by the scientist studying it so it should be recorded and kept with the fossils and/or in a notebook. The location info is more important than the genus/species name. I think people should be able to do what they want with their fossils but should be encouraged to submit something for study if it turns out to be important and donate it to the nearest museum that handles fossils. I recently took a couple ladies (beginners) up my local hill and I neglected to ask them their purpose in looking for fossils, whether 'decorative' or 'scientific', if I can categorize it that way (in other words, to have a curio to put on the bathroom windowsill or to start a scientific/educational collection). They went home with some rare bivalves and one of them glued one onto the matrix where it didn't belong, which is fine if you just want a conversation piece but those of us who are more into the science of it will tend to frown on anything that alters a fossil unnaturally, whether polishing or painting or....

I have no regrets in my learning experience as a fossil collector except the damage I have done to certain fossils because of my ignorance. I will PM you my 'fossil collecting tips' that I distributed at the local rockhound club and you can decide whether to use any of the info.

Edited by Wrangellian
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Well done Bev

Lots of thought and good advice which will benefit many collectors.

Dave

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Great info Bev - thanks!

And thanks Wrangellian for the added info too!

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Fantastic information, very helpful to the new people getting into this. Thanks

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I've had some questions about "how to" Google Earth.

Here is one tutorial:

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=google+earth+tutorials+youtube&qpvt=google+earth+tutorials+youtube&FORM=VDRE#view=detail&mid=7CA1BA315367C971ABA87CA1BA315367C971ABA8

However, everyone has different learning styles, so if you do a search for "Google Earth Tutorials" you will find a bunch of them and one might just suit you!

Happy Hunting!

Bev :)

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:fistbump::envy::1-SlapHands_zpsbb015b76:

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This may be better in a different topic, but here is what I mean about trimming fossils. I came home with this piece this summer, it nearly fills a whole beer flat. Should it trim it and how?

post-4372-0-87191700-1378706750_thumb.jpg

Some people might trim it down about this far, not leaving much around the leaf.

post-4372-0-85010000-1378706753_thumb.jpg

But if I leave it as is, I see a much broader picture of the seabed in that particular spot. I might still trim it down somehow, as it takes up a lot of space, and the branch isn't too important (indeterminate ID and lots like it from that site), but I don't want to trim it down too far.

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I found this stone with what looks like a dragon fly fossil in it ,and this shell, totally in tact fossil hard as a rock, wonder if an old pear is in there ?

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Wonderful thank you so much!

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Wonderful thank you so much!

You are so welcome, Ecleland!

Here is something else that might interest beginners in getting your fossils IDed...

http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/41017-fossil-photography-board-0/

If you run across posts that would be good for beginners, perhaps adding them to this "Beginner's Guide" would be a good idea.

Bev :)

Edited by Bev

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Here is a post on an inexpensive rolling specimen cart:

http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/40468-30-rolling-specimen-cart/#entry448860

And here is one for a < $4 magnifying visor and < $2 cleaning brushes.

http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/38597-4-headlamp-and-2-brushes/?hl=%2Bmagnifying+%2Bvisor

Edited by Bev

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what are large - half of a fossil ammonites worth ? They are from Lake Texoma.

Please help anyone ? I can take a pic and post it somehow soon.

Thanks,

Karen

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what are large - half of a fossil ammonites worth ? They are from Lake Texoma.

Please help anyone ? I can take a pic and post it somehow soon.

Thanks,

Karen

Hello ksdulaney. :)

We can't/don't really put value to fossils here on the forum, ... making an evaluation of that via 2 dimensional pictures is not feasible.

The best way to place a value on your fossils is to check ebay for similar items, and see what they are going for.

Regards,

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Excellent thread…I’ve lost count on how many times I’ve goggled ( beginners guide to fossil hunting books ) trust me it’s not as easy as it sounds.

Don’t forget to add the all-important (personal protection equipment / safety and clothing) to the guide to suit your surroundings.

Regards,

Darren.

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Excellent reference Darren! Thank You! Bev :)

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If you are interested in trilobites in particular, here is a thread that has a lot of interesting info:

http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/41799-what-referencesresources-do-you-use-to-id-trilo-fragments/#entry455956

And here is some excellent advice from Missourian on that thread:

"My method in the past has been to look through the appropriate 'Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology' volumes and write down every genus that is in the right age range. I also note the locations given for each genus. The states listed indicate which types are most likely to be found. There's a fair chance that a nearby college library will have a set of these Treatise volumes. Now that you have a list of genera, you can research them in various publications.

I also comb the publications of my local state geological survey as well as those in nearby states. These titles are likely listed online. I look for information on stratigraphic units as well as fossil types. If you're lucky, you may even find a study on the trilobites of some formation. Also, look through reference lists at the end of any publication that you are able to read. There always seems to be at least a couple references that look promising.

I would research the taxonomy of trilobites (or whichever fossil) to figure out the anatomical differences. With enough knowledge and practice, you'll get to the point where you can spot certain types -- or have a good idea -- with just a look at a partial piece."

Edited by Bev

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Thank you for the great read . I am learning lots on this site.

thanks

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Thanks Momothman! Just trying to create what I wish I would have found when I started. :-D

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