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Fred

Fossiel.net - Now Available In English!

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Fred

Fellow fossil freaks,

For over a decade, we (a small team of 4 volunteers) have been developing a Dutch-Belgian paleo-portal at fossiel.net. Some may already know us a bit.

We are a completely independent and non-commercial effort, aiming at providing a knowledge base and communication platform, to the benefit of both amateur and professionals. Moreover, we specifically try to bridge the gap between amateurs and professionals. Originally only available in Dutch, we finally did the massive effort to translate the whole website to English :blink: , and we're nearly there! ^_^

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Last year, we also completely revamped the core system of our website, which is now completely database-driven. I believe we have a lot to offer you (and vice versa), so in the coming weeks, I will present specific parts of our knowledge base in this topic, including a fossil ID system, geo-localities (including fossil sites, musea, etc..., even associations), a glossary, articles, literature references, and so on...

Stay tuned for the details, but in the mean time, you're very welcome to have a look around @ http://english.fossiel.net/

Tell us what you think!

PS: we're no native speakers, so we would be very grateful for anybody pointing out language mistakes and typos. :blush:

Edited by Fred

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Harry Pristis

Olof Moleman does good work on the land mammal images!

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Ludwigia

Looks great, Fred and I'm looking forward to your presentations. We've made a start with English also at Steinkern, but we're not nearly as far along as you guys.

Edited by Ludwigia

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Fred

@ Harry Pristis: Indeed, glad you noticed them! Contributions like Olof's are a real asset to the database.

@ Ludwigia: good to hear that, I think English articles are appearing there for some time now. I'm looking forward to seeing other content as well!

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Fred

Let's start off with our basic information pages. Together, they provide a comprehensive 101 for anyone starting fossil collecting. One big answer to the basic question "how do I take up fossil collecting (and how to do it properly)?"

These pages are accessible through the first menu-item, 'fossils'.

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After a short introduction on fossils and fossil hunting, pages on fossil formation and the relation of fossils with the sedimentary rocks they're in, we have a page on dating and the geological timescale.

For anyone engaging in field collecting, we drafted a simple, 5-step guideline for fieldwork, from prospecting to the registration of the finds: Inform, Equip, Plan, Search, Register. Many collectors predominantly focus on step 4. ^_^ When preparing to go to the field, you might want to consult the page on equipment, where one finds checklists.

The basics of fossil preparation and conservation are covered as well. There is also a guide to fossil identification.

How to photograph fossils? Learn it here.

A guide to managing your collection (storage, labelling, ...) can be found here.

Some people are more into buying fossils. Some guidelines and reflection on this can be found here.

And, related to that, a popular page on fossil fakery and how to recognize fakes.

In recognition of the importance of the amateur paleo community with regards to possible contribution to science, we have a page on the scientific relevance of fossils, on scientific naming (it can be confusing), and on evolution and fossils.

Fossil related news is regularly added to a news feed by our members.

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Fred

Next, our locality database. This is one of the two large database components of the site (the other being the fossil ID system). As we speak, the database contains information on 1432 locations over 130 countries worldwide! Sensitive localities are only visible to advanced users.

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The database include fossil sites, mineral sites, sites of particular geologic interest, musea and associations. When browsing, the system automatically lists other locations in the region - interesting for planning your holiday ^_^

All this is cross-linked with every other database component of our website. So when you browse to your favourite fossil site, the system allows you to see fossils from that site in the ID system, relevant literature for that site, an so on...

Link to the location database

Example: Lee Creek mine

Have fun browsing and return here to share your thoughts!

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Fred

Time for an update to the presentation of our website. Have a look at our ID system. It is not a simple gallery of fossil pictures, but an entirely cross-linked database system containing pictures of fossils and associated information on the classification, localities, age and relevant literature.

You can search and generate checklists by location, time period or taxonomy. Say, you are interested in trilobites.

This is for example a species list for the Neogene at Antwerp, Belgium: List

One can also add fossils without having a picture, but based on specific literature references. This allows to create more complete species checklists. See for example the list for the Piesberg locality, Germany, which contains a mix of records from literature and pictures from collections.

The list is validated and checked by a number of volunteers. And off course we receive corrections from the community as well. Obviously, the lists are not free of errors, but it is a good start and the accuracy increasingly improves as the system grows and is use more intensively.

All registered members can contribute by sending in their pics and information. Off course, some rules apply to set the standards in terms of quality. This makes contributing a bit more cumbersome.

At the moment the system holds almost 3100 illustrated fossil records, and lists over 3600 fossils. Thanks for having a look!

We would be happy to receive contributions to the system (you can do so by using the forms here)!

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Ludwigia

Looking good, Fred! You're off to a good start.

Edited by Ludwigia

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Fred

Thanks Roger. We try our best to build tools that suit the needs of a broad range of paleo-enthousiasts.

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jpc

This is a great site... Thanks, Fred and colleagues.

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JohnJ

Kudos for your outstanding project; it will serve as an example to the future efforts of others.

:thumbsu:

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Auspex

Prachtig !

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Uncle Siphuncle

Excellent. I'll give the site a good hard look as I plan my next paleo tour of Europe.

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FossilDAWG

Your site has been invaluable to help me identify my specimens I collected at ENCI and at Valkenberg when I lived in the Netherlands as a child (back in the early 1970s!). Many thanks!

Don

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