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Finding Micro-fossils

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I'm handy with a microscope; I have a nice low power stereo dissecting scope & 4-5 other microscopes plus a variety of hand lenses, hand held field microscope.  I can do well enough with rock & mineral identification and not too bad with fossils.  However, I'm not sure of what I'm looking when examining samples under the scope.  Could use some guidance.

 

Kim

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the following groups of micro-and nannofossils exist:

foraminifera (incl.thecamoebae,xenophyphores and allogromiids)

radiolaria

diatoms

silicoflagellates/ebridians

dinoflagellates

tintinnids

chrysophytes

conodonts

fungal fragments

scolecodonts(worm jaws)

vertebrate debris/ichthyloliths/fish scales

chitinozoa(of unknown affinity)

acritarchs

graptolite fragments

coccoliths

plant spores

arthropod cuticle fragments

plant cuticle(maceral)

poriferan(sponge)needles

echinoderm ossicles

ascidian spicules

gastropod opercula(rare)

larvae of macrofossil groups(rare)

 

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What age rocks are you looking at?  Marine or terrestrial?  

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Dear Kim, I suggest you try to find recent and fossil foraminifera. They come in a great variety and huge numbers at sizes between 0,1µm to 3µm. In MD you have beaches and estuaries where you will easily find recent stuff as a start. Pick from different marine coastal spots at low tide close to water line different sand and mud samples of 500g.  Wash it over a sieve of 0,1mm mesh size. Then dry the residue and look at the remaining particles under the microscope. You should find between the pebbles this: http://foraminifera.eu/querydb.php?fauna=Marshes&aktion=suche

 

2.) Then move on to fossil material, exposed e.g. at Calvert Cliffs. Here take at least 1kg per sample, of which just 20g may remain after washing in 0,1mm sieve.

You may find this: http://www.foraminifera.eu/calvertcliffs.html

 

With the forams usually comes other stuff. But make yourself familiar first with this easy group in order not to get lost.

 

Some more details: http://foraminifera.eu/naturalist.html

 

So get a 0,1mm sieve and have fun

Michael

 

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Mike has a great site for forams

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And why did i forget ostracods?:angry:Surely a major oversight.Apologies for this grave error.

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