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Arizona Chris

Ideas on how to mail really tiny fossils

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Arizona Chris

I wish to send my friend in the mail some specimens out of the acid bath of some super tiny gastropods that are like fly specks - so tiny that you need a microscope to see them.  How should I do this so he can find them when they arrive?  Im hoping for something from the hardware store, or locally.  

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FossilDudeCO

a gem jar that is taped around the edges and then placed in a small Ziploc that then gets placed into a padded envelope.

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Wrangellian

You might want to wrap the gem jar in something more padded than a ziploc, too, unless the envelope itself is sufficiently padded.

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ynot

You could wrap them in a paper towel or tp and tape it closed.

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Bullsnake

I don't know if these qualify as gem jars, but I get them at Walmart.

The first one is in the pharmacy area with all of the travel items.

The other is a tray of similar little jars in the crafts section with  jewelry beads.

They're both about an inch in diameter.

 

20170810_183702.jpg

20170810_183715.jpg

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caldigger

Chris, I would use one of these. They are plastic vials for gold flakes. This is a one ounce size, but you can get them smaller from a prospecting supply store or online. (The new ones won't be all scratched up like mine).

IMG_0214.JPG

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WhodamanHD

If you could find a microscope slide, you could put in that and wrap that in paper towels or some sort of padding and throw it (or gently lower it) into a ziploc.

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Arizona Chris

Some great ideas here.  Ill try Bullsnakes suggestion first, we have a super walmart here in Payson.  These gastropods are so tiny (and full grown) that static electricity makes them suck up to a tiny paintbrush or wooden stick when I try to move them.  They are about the size of the "D" on the front of the penny for the mint mark.  A few will fit in the hole in the D....

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Wrangellian

What about coin flips? Maybe they are too small even for that..

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jkfoam

Go to your local health food store and buy some empty capsules.  They should have several sizes.  Put the micros in the capsule.  Because the capsules can be crushed I would place the capsule with the micros in some other container like a small box  and ship that.  I have used capsules for years to ship very small and fragile fossils with excellent results. I also use the capsules to store micro fossils before I mount them permanently in slides.  I don't store them permanently in capsules because of the high  humidity here where I live and the fact that my collection is stored in a non-invironment regulated barn.

 

Jim

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DPS Ammonite

The best packing material is what everyone has: copy or notebook paper. Remember the acronym KISS. Place fossils in a piece of paper. Fold up all sides and roll paper on itself several times. It is sort of like wrapping a steak in butcher paper but with more layers. Tape and label paper packet. Remember not to leave lots of free space inside the packet so that the fossils don't freely move around. Then place paper packet(s) in whatever stiff container you have: box or bottle. Fill empty space in stiff container with paper so that the paper packet does not move around. Package stiff container and mail.

 

In a related matter, Chris, where are the small silicified gastropods comming from: the Permian Fort Apache Member of the Schnebly Hill Formation? We would love to see your finds.

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Doctor Mud

I wonder if you could glue them to a small piece of cardboard using water soluble glue.

 

Something to think about for the future maybe:

 

The slides used for tiny forams have a numbered grid on a small piece of cardboard in a slide case. You paint on a diluted mixture of PVA glue and water. When you pick up the small fossil with a wet brush and place it in a grid. Let it dry and it will stick.

Then there is a glass slide that goes over the top to protect everything,

 

You should be able to order these online somewhere.

 

Heres an example:

 

IMG_3868.JPG.ab05273117e52a91c97042c1ee8717ee.JPG

 

This website discusses options for storing microfossils:

 

http://www.foraminifera.eu/microslides.html

 

 

 

 

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jpc
2 hours ago, jkfoam said:

Go to your local health food store and buy some empty capsules.  They should have several sizes.  Put the micros in the capsule.  Because the capsules can be crushed I would place the capsule with the micros in some other container like a small box  and ship that.  I have used capsules for years to ship very small and fragile fossils with excellent results. I also use the capsules to store micro fossils before I mount them permanently in slides.  I don't store them permanently in capsules because of the high  humidity here where I live and the fact that my collection is stored in a non-invironment regulated barn.

 

Jim

I have shipped very small fossils this way.  I also add a wee strip of toilet paper into the gel capsules so the fossils don't tumble about much.  What color are the fossils?  If they are white, get some colored TP.

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Arizona Chris

More excellent ideas!  However, I am a bit leary of a empty capsule this time of year here in Arizona - we are at our wettest monsoon rainy season.  Hate to send capsules and have them arrive as a huge glop !  I bet however, someone sells plastic capsules that dont melt in wet.  I think I got some tiny screws one time with something that had such a thing.

 

The fossils are Permian Fort Apache Limestone, which normally has absolutely NO fossils in it here in Arizona.  We discovered a locality which is only a half a mile hike in on a popular trail on the Rim that goes just below a huge outcrop of the stuff.  Low and behold, its PACKED  with silicified marine inverts.  I nearly fell to my knees and started weeping because we had spent hundreds of wasted hours in this formation all over the Colorado Plateau and found not a single fossil.   Besides the usual productids and bryozoans, and hordes of shell bits, it has a large number of very tiny well preserved microfossil too.  This includes microscopic full formed and 3d hollow silicified gastropods, cornulids (I had to look THAT one up when we found them!), totally glass clear productid spines and half a dozen trilobite pygidia preserved as well in translucent silica.  Ill post a write up on what we found and how to get there hopefully by the end of this month.  Still have lots of limestone to acid down.  

 

Her is a quick shot this morning of a few under the microscope:

DSC00587.thumb.jpg.868d20533fc1fd9b6ffd1a221474bcc2.jpg

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Foram-Mike

As already mentioned by Doctor Mud, microslides are commonly used to store and send microfossils. The microslide on the image is 7,5cm wide. The objects are glued to it and as you  see, a lot of them maybe be put on one slide.
plummergreenland.thumb.jpg.82c0f167e45f1945545788bda58e89a1.jpg

My image see, foraminifera.eu/greenland.php

 

Another option is to send specimens in sediment - most samples are sent to me like this and well preserved.

 

3rd option: In a liquid like water they also survive. You though need a 0,2ml valve (see image) at 10$ per 100 pieces.

valcve.jpg

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Arizona Chris

Thanks Mike,  Im going to try a few options and see how they survive the shipment process.  I really like the small compartmentalized slides for storage and display.  In this case, Im merely shipping a super small specimen set to another microfossil collector.  

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