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Identification Posting For The Uninitiated 2.0: ANSWERING Fossil ID Requests: (NEW MEMBERS PLEASE READ)

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I gain much pleasure and knowledge from the finds of other members on here. I also get excited by not only the fabulous finds, but the firsts and unknowns by those looking for a ID. Why? Because a very similar post by me not too long ago (and the members of TFF's response to that post) is what has brought me back to this site daily ever since. My love of fossils, which was nonexistent prior to the members here, is now a passion of mine. A passion that has enriched not only my life but the life of my daughter. I truly wish I was knowledgeable enough to contribute more with ID's. I have attempted on a few threads which is a genuine grasp as offering the same help, support and enthusiam that I did. For the most part I always try to compliment finds of others because I sure know how great it feels to get positive feedback when you find something that thrills you. :) I wish I could contribute more, and maybe thanks to all the wonderful information and members support on here I will be able to one day. In the meantime, I will try to pass my great experience with this forum to others in any way possible.

Here, here! One of my 3rd graders years ago re-energized my interest in rocks. As I started looking for rocks for that class - I began finding fossils.

Now my 5th graders are delighted to receive fossils as prizes!

Edited by Roadrunner

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Obviously FF users are well intended, willing to generously share their experience, knowlege and opinions. Public forums can sometimes be as much a source of spreading misinformation as fact, or simply confuse a user seeking a clear answer. There are many dimensions to a public forum. Someone seeking identification should be responsible for including good clear images. Also that person should be realistic about the difficulty of identifying fragmentary, worn and incomplete speciments. Sometimes even a complete specimen can be difficult to identify to exact species.

Someone offering an opinion should also consider those factors. If a specimen is not well photographed, incomplete or damaged maybe it's better to not take a wild guess but instead admit that a clear ID is not possible. Novice collectors should learn the hazzards of simply guessing without facts to back up an opinion. Facts are useful but sometimes hard to get. Opinions are a dime a dozen and just as often not worth a dime.

Communication between collectors can be encouraging and satisfying. Forums are definitely good for that.

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No offense to any members, but I think the fossil ID aspect of this group, and getting advice or answers on a piece is the most positive and rewarding section of this forum. Being a novice myself, it's great to hear from people here that have such a passion for fossils, the history, the species, incredible details! The knowledge base here is truly admirable! 

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I thought it was just a great way to share a common interest. Being a benefit to all.

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