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

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Roadrunner

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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jpevahouse

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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nivek1969

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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Malone

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

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Still_human

I believe it IS the responsibility of someone who sees the question, knows the answer, and to who answering the question will not cause any negative consequences to, other than a brief moment of their time. It's just common courtesy, and I feel like as was stated above, the norm of ignoring most people, is something that shouldn't be accepted as just how it is. "The only thing needed for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing". Just cause most people might ignore most other people doesn't make that ok, it's just inconsiderate, and just plain bad. Anyone who considered someone asking an potentially simple question, is comparable to a requisition of something of "value" without paying proper compensation.......WOW!!!!! If you can answer a question and it won't cause u any trouble to answer the question, as a decent human being YES, it is indeed your responsibility to answer it.

If someone asked me for some compensation for answering a simple question I asked, or even if they took some time and answered in detail, the only thing they would get from me, was laughter, and then if I was asked anything by anyone, I would answer to the extent of my ability, or just quickly if I were in a hurry, and walk away without expecting anything in return, and in fact, already rewarded by knowing I was able to help someone. To be honest, I'm a little disturbed, and amazed that such a thing actually came up:/

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Fossildude19
2 hours ago, Still_human said:

I believe it IS the responsibility of someone who sees the question, knows the answer, and to who answering the question will not cause any negative consequences to, other than a brief moment of their time. It's just common courtesy, and I feel like as was stated above, the norm of ignoring most people, is something that shouldn't be accepted as just how it is. "The only thing needed for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing". Just cause most people might ignore most other people doesn't make that ok, it's just inconsiderate, and just plain bad. Anyone who considered someone asking an potentially simple question, is comparable to a requisition of something of "value" without paying proper compensation.......WOW!!!!! If you can answer a question and it won't cause u any trouble to answer the question, as a decent human being YES, it is indeed your responsibility to answer it.

If someone asked me for some compensation for answering a simple question I asked, or even if they took some time and answered in detail, the only thing they would get from me, was laughter, and then if I was asked anything by anyone, I would answer to the extent of my ability, or just quickly if I were in a hurry, and walk away without expecting anything in return, and in fact, already rewarded by knowing I was able to help someone. To be honest, I'm a little disturbed, and amazed that such a thing actually came up:/

 

I believe Harry Pristis was trying to get us to think about why we feel a need to answer ID requests. ;) 

Nothing untoward was meant by that part of the discussion. :) 

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Still_human
3 hours ago, Fossildude19 said:

 

I believe Harry Pristis was trying to get us to think about why we feel a need to answer ID requests. ;) 

Nothing untoward was meant by that part of the discussion. :) 

Oh, no, of course! I'm all for what he said, but someone responding to what he said began talking about how no one should feel like they need to answer anyone's questions cause they aren't responsible for doing so, cause they aren't getting anything in return for giving someone something of value(i.e. Information), and so on, and so on, and so on. 

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Harry Pristis
15 minutes ago, Still_human said:

Oh, no, of course! I'm all for what he said, but someone responding to what he said began talking about how no one should feel like they need to answer anyone's questions cause they aren't responsible for doing so, cause they aren't getting anything in return for giving someone something of value(i.e. Information), and so on, and so on, and so on. 

 

Really?  I don't think anyone has espoused that argument here . . . before now.

 

 

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Rockin' For Life

 

 

I am a new member once again. (  And I say that meaning I tried this before and because of pompous and cold and ridiculing persons to the likes of the "it is not my responsibility to provide detailed answers" to assist those of very little to no knowledge of fossils and the like.) I left as quickly as I came.  Only new thing new was this feeling of shame for not knowing enough to distinguish a rock from a bone and sadly I left the forum with no more knowledge than I had when I joined it other than my fossil was not a fossil not a bone, just a rock.  Which I was completely okay with because just because I thought for years it was bone did not mean that I would throw it in the yard and move on with my head down.  No, I still have the rock along with the  hundreds of other rocks and bones I have collected over the past 30 years.  And just because it was not bone as I originally thought did not mean I do not still thirst for knowledge of what type of rock it is and why it has the same look and maybe how I myself could learn to distinguish between the two.  All of which could have given by the member who felt the need to feel empowerment from having much more knowledge than myself instead of a sharer of knowledge of a participant in a shared forum that is taking it upon himself to identify my treasure.  And if he had done so it would have given me a tidbit of information that would have meant so much to me and helped me tremendously to begin to learn more about and hopefully give a type or identification to my huge assortment of treasures that I only know are awesome in their own each and every way.  Because for fifteen years I can remember wondering many times about certain ones and countless hours searching the internet has helped very little. I need to quench my thirst to know them better for what they truly are and not just for being pretty or complex or strange, etc.  I have so many they honestly take up half of my spare bedroom and every other nook and cranny in my house. And I want to display some or tell my kids more about them but not without knowing what I am displaying because I do not want to mislead others nor look like a fool.  And I am not one for drama but I feel the need to say that those of vast knowledge of this but only wish to use it for personal gain rather than share it should not give answers to the seekers like me who seek just that.  I am dumb "newbie" at the identification of fossils although I have been collecting my whole life, but unless it is a no brainer I still have trouble determining whether it is just another cool rock or a fossil or something else entirely and I do not claim to be anything else but would love to be a little more knowledgeable some day.  Because like I interpreted what the writer of this post at first was saying, when someone puts so much time and effort into something most who are a sharer or teacher of the sorts usually feel the the fire from another for the same thing and wish to fuel it with more of their knowledge rather than distinguish it with a scoff of how much more intelligent they are.   Rather than giving them a yes or no give them a little reasoning as to why it is a yes or a no.     ( and I am not quoting merely trying to help explain what i feel he was intending on giving as the message rather than something some certain persons can find to make a squabble about.)  And writer if I am incorrect, forgive me, but I feel others who like myself are reading posts for new members need to have this clarified so they do not leave feeling like a chump rather than staying for the reason they came for.  If I had not experienced this once before and came across this post only minutes after I joined again I  wouldn't have felt the need to put my two sense in.  But I am not going to quit again because the number of those willing to help us that I counted from this post and they outweigh the few who feel they are not obligated to help us.   I feel the desire to learn and am hungry for the knowledge that many in this forum possess whether by schooling or by time in the field as a hobby.  And with the kind assistance of those I hopefully can put a name on many of my treasures I have had and still collect because they are really my passion. And I think that if it is something I feel so strongly about then I owe it to myself and to my kids and others who put up with my rocks more information than I possess.  And who knows whether I may possess the one fossil or rock that one of you have always wanted to see found or if I have something rare that deserves study or the area in which I found it does.  Or maybe they are all just rocks that are cool and remarkable to me.  But I want to know and that is why I am here.  So, if you are going to respond to my request I ask that you please be someone who feels the need to share or give to a dummy like me and that you please do your best to add a little information with it or at least be willing if I still need better clarification on certain things.  I am not asking for references or anything complex just want to pick your brain a little.  I do not have much to give in return other than a lifetimes worth of gratitude.  Thanks so much for taking your time to share your invaluable knowledge and experience with myself and others who feel so much passion for this but lack in those areas.  You are also treasures of few in this day and time and valued as such as well.  Good Luck and greater ventures to all.  And like I said I am not wishing to squabble or have a battle of wits with anyone so please do not respond with such.  Thanks for listening.   

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DPS Ammonite

Welcome back to the Forum. We look forward to helping you ID your treasures.

 

John

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ynot
48 minutes ago, Rockin' For Life said:

Thanks for listening.   

Thanks for the second chance - and welcome back!

It is easy to forget that some people would like to know more about the piece they bring to the forum for ID than "it is just a rock".

It is best to ask for the information desired if it has not been provided.

 

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Walt

Welcome back!  

 

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Rockin' For Life

Thanks to each of you.  I did not realize the middle paragraph of my post had disappeared.  (Proof reading would have smart on my end). Lol.  

  Anyway what I left out was that I can completely respect the member who felt it was not his responsibility bc in all reality it isn't. But my feeling on the subject is that he shouldn't be giving identifications or commenting on a post about it and it would have prevented all issues about it. It seems silly now but at the time I was taken aback by it .  I have come back and along with posting ones I've identified I will also be humbly asking some of you that are here to share your expertise to take a look at a few I cannot seem to get bc I am still an avid rock hunter and collector and I have spent countless upon countless hours searching the internet and researching but I just can't figure out some.  And I will be so very grateful for any assistance provided and truly respect the person who can become an expert in this area bc even though an A -B student through college I find this a lot to wrap my head around.   So thanks in advance for being so generous to share your knowledge.  

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Harry Pristis
On ‎5‎/‎7‎/‎2014 at 11:30 AM, Harry Pristis said:

. . . 

Platitudes and bromides will not provide an explanation. If providing answers to petitioners' questions is neither a collective nor an individual responsibility, what is it? What keeps the forum operating? For answers to this question, think in terms of evolution of our species. And, think in terms of human motivation. No kidding.

 

While this thread has careened all around the functions and aspirations for TFF, the original question I posed has been answered.  What is it that keeps the forum an active and informative  place?  Two things were mentioned here: the human pedagogical inclination and the need for the respect of our peers.  Fuller description of these motivations are in this thread, obscured, it seem, among the platitudes and complaints.

 

 

 

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Philip Rutter

It should be simple.  Sad it is not.  This is the dedication to what was actually his childhood autobiography, from the true founder of the Boy Scouts; a great hero of mine; Ernest Thompson Seton.

 

5bcd11bbc066c_setonwell.jpg.84a8fa92fe7fd62c84f9e43615be847f.jpg

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JPinNh

Ok so i joined this forum a few days ago and have yet to post any help questions. Why? You may ask, well the answer is simple and complex  at the same time... I have hundreds of them, fossils, and I mean hundreds and I really am itching to start getting help in getting them classified, and here's the but part, i just don't want to be a nuisance or irritate those who's knowledge I desperately wish to gain. I could flood the help section for a week with pics of "what is this". It seems needy to those who already know. But being a cautious man ill slowly filter my questions in and see what happens. The point- I applaud those who take the time share with the uninitiated their knowledge and feel pitty for those selfishly guard theirs after all you were once where I am now

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Fossildude19
41 minutes ago, JPinNh said:

Ok so i joined this forum a few days ago and have yet to post any help questions. Why? You may ask, well the answer is simple and complex  at the same time... I have hundreds of them, fossils, and I mean hundreds and I really am itching to start getting help in getting them classified, and here's the but part, i just don't want to be a nuisance or irritate those who's knowledge I desperately wish to gain. I could flood the help section for a week with pics of "what is this". It seems needy to those who already know. But being a cautious man ill slowly filter my questions in and see what happens. The point- I applaud those who take the time share with the uninitiated their knowledge and feel pitty for those selfishly guard theirs after all you were once where I am now

 

That is why we try to foster the sharing of knowledge here - we were all once where you are now. ;) 

Follow the posting guidelines under the Fossil ID section, and we will help you on your path to Fossil Enlightenment.  :zen:

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Ludwigia
47 minutes ago, JPinNh said:

Ok so i joined this forum a few days ago and have yet to post any help questions. Why? You may ask, well the answer is simple and complex  at the same time... I have hundreds of them, fossils, and I mean hundreds and I really am itching to start getting help in getting them classified, and here's the but part, i just don't want to be a nuisance or irritate those who's knowledge I desperately wish to gain. I could flood the help section for a week with pics of "what is this". It seems needy to those who already know. But being a cautious man ill slowly filter my questions in and see what happens. The point- I applaud those who take the time share with the uninitiated their knowledge and feel pitty for those selfishly guard theirs after all you were once where I am now

That's the right attitude. Don't worry about being a nuisance, since you won't be one as long as you just take your time and post a few every once in a while. We have all the time in the world, don't we? It's taken me years to learn the vocabulary and Im still learning as I go. Welcome to the forum, by the way.

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Harry Pristis
4 hours ago, JPinNh said:

The point- I applaud those who take the time share with the uninitiated their knowledge and feel pitty for those selfishly guard theirs after all you were once where I am now

 

Where did you get the idea that there are people here who are selfishly guarding their knowledge?

 

 

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JPinNh

As a casual observer of human nature and how people interact with each other i'm betting the odds are that more than one member has looked at a question they knew the answer to and instead of piping up they clicked onward. Its not an accusation or belittling its just how it is anywhere. People are just people.  This withholding does not in any way make the person negative, bad, or selfish it makes them human. See my meaning?

 

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DPS Ammonite

Welcome to The Fossil Forum @JPinNh. We were all in your shoes once. Most of us like to answer questions because we learn more too. 

 

Besides posting on the Fossil Forum, consider joining a local paleontology/ rock club. They love to see your finds, will help with ID’s and lead great field trips.

 

John

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KimTexan
6 hours ago, JPinNh said:

Ok so i joined this forum a few days ago and have yet to post any help questions. Why? You may ask, well the answer is simple and complex  at the same time... I have hundreds of them, fossils, and I mean hundreds and I really am itching to start getting help in getting them classified, and here's the but part, i just don't want to be a nuisance or irritate those who's knowledge I desperately wish to gain. I could flood the help section for a week with pics of "what is this". It seems needy to those who already know. But being a cautious man ill slowly filter my questions in and see what happens. The point- I applaud those who take the time share with the uninitiated their knowledge and feel pitty for those selfishly guard theirs after all you were once where I am now

Bring it on man. Fossils are eye candy and most of us learn more by discussing fossils people post for ID. 

Fossils found in your area are going to be unique to some people who either don’t have any fossils in their area or have completely different ones than you have.

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