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I_gotta_rock

Looking for Living Fossils for summer camp

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I_gotta_rock

I'm running a paleontology camp this summer in Delaware. We can' actually do much digging because there are no fossils at the camp site. We do, however, have living fossils around that the kids can meet. I'd like to introduce the kids to the living fossils and show them the evidence of their ancient ancestors. We have snapping turtles (common and alligator), an alligator, horseshoe crabs, access to ginkgo leaves and magnolia, pileated woodpeckers aplenty, and triops kits are easy to come by online. Anybody have any fossils of these that they could part with?  I have mostly marine fossils I can trade from all over the east coast, though mostly common stuff. From Delaware I have silicified pleistocene cyprus wood from Odessa, DE, belemnites, cretaceous gastropods, brachiopods (lamp shells), pelyceopods, and button corals from the C and D Canal (Mt Laurel Formation), plus various paleozoic tabulate and rugose corals that wash down the river from the Appalachians.  I have oodles of shells, stingray plates, coprolites, and a piece of palmate coral from Calvert Cliffs (Miocene, Choptank formation). I have FLUORESCENT pleistocene shells from the Tamiami Formation in Florida. Plus, I have calamities and lycopods from the Lewellyn Formation in Carbondale, PA. The pictures here may not be the exact specimens and only represent a sample. If there is something specific from these locales that interests you, ask me. I might have something. Anyone willing to help me out? It doesn't have to be museum grade, so long as we can match it up to the modern version.

Bacculites.jpg

Calvert Cliffs fossils008.jpg

Calvert Cliffs fossils019.jpg

Calvert Cliffs fossils021.jpg

Canal-3b.jpg

Canal-27a.jpg

chesapecten jeffersonius.jpg

concavus concavus.jpg

conch-fl.jpg

IMG_4435.jpg

olive 1ab.jpg

olive shells2.jpg

shark entospirae1.jpg

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caldigger

I'm not sure if he can make it out there, but Adam @Tidgy's Dad is a good candidate for a living fossil. :)

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I_gotta_rock
12 minutes ago, caldigger said:

I'm not sure if he can make it out there, but Adam @Tidgy's Dad is a good candidate for a living fossil. :)

:D

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I_gotta_rock

Thanks. Those I have.  In fact, I have a kiddie pool I'm going to set up with sand and stuff they aren't going to be able to hunt for in the field, including what you offer. I really appreciate to offer, though!!!!!

 

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Fruitbat

Sounds like a very ambitious and interesting program!  I wish that I had something to add to it but, unfortunately, I don't.  If you manage to find a fossilized Pileated Woodpecker I would love to hear about it though!

 

-Joe

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Tidgy's Dad
5 hours ago, caldigger said:

I'm not sure if he can make it out there, but Adam @Tidgy's Dad is a good candidate for a living fossil. :)

Unfortunately, I can't make it, but would be delighted on another occasion. 

I do like this that Mason posted : 

9E6EC1F4-0E8D-49A3-BC71-5666FE91ED05.jpeg

@WhodamanHD

@I_gotta_rock. Good luck with your venture, it's a worthy cause, sorry i'm unable to send you anything useful at the moment. 

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Nimravis
6 hours ago, caldigger said:

I'm not sure if he can make it out there, but Adam @Tidgy's Dad is a good candidate for a living fossil. :)

@caldigger I was also going to nominate Adam @Tidgy's Dad:hearty-laugh:

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DevonianDigger

I can give you brachiopods and corals from Penn Dixie along with trilo-bits. (Lots of cephalons and pygidiums.) Plus if it's for summer, I can make sure you have plennntttty. I can only give what I have in my workshop now, but as soon as the snow clears I can get the stuff by the pound.

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Bev

You didn't mention the ages of the children. If you can't find what you want, perhaps create a mold of what you want and allow them to make their own fossils! I found the kids love this here. Somewhere I have a post I put up on this perhaps in 2013 or 2014. I used reuseable silicone molds and put the recipe on there too. Another thing they enjoy - boys and girls - is make jewelry they can wear out of the fossils they make or ones you provide. Tools from the Dollar Store and some copper wire and cord are inexpensive and a hit. The boys really like the shark's teeth.  :-)  Allow them to collect twigs, stones, etc. to incorporate into their jewelry. Something to take home.

 

If there is sand around bury some fossils and minerals in the sand, give them cheap paint brushes and a sieve and allow them to do an excavation. I have a dedicated sandbox filled with fossils and minerals for the kids. Great hit even up to 10 years old!

 

If you can help them to create a timeline of earth history, that is a real eye opener. Even a glass with colored sand in it works, but if you can measure out on the ground and have kids stand at certain points with signs of the ages on paper it is a real WOW moment for them.  :-)

 

Birds are all descendants of the dinosaurs - chunk o sauros (unknown dino bones) are always cool. Then have them create a diorama with little dino characters (dollar store) and the real dino bones. Who doesn't love dinosaurs! Bring a chicken to camp - boy can you see the dino in them!

 

Show them a YouTube video of living crinoids. They haven't changed in 500 million years! Beautiful creatures! I'm sure you have some crinoid fossils laying around.

 

Show a pic of how North America was on the equator during the Ordovician - that is an eye opener!

 

Oh, and boys LOVE to break rocks! Give them a rock hammer and eye protection and let them swing at a rock to get the idea - limestone if you have some. WOW, do they love to break rock! Another thought is to bury some fossils in clay, let it dry, and let them break it. Kids love it when they are allowed to break things!

 

I like to emphasize the science in paleontology - math, biology, geology, etc. and how technology has advanced the science.

 

I wouldn't feel constrained to just the animals you have on site. Heck, they know what horses are, then show them pics of the tiny original horses and how they evolved. Same with dogs, cats, etc.

 

The kids love it when I dress the part! Hat, backpack, fossil hunting vest (fly fishing vest), hammer belt, knee pads, show the chisels and tools, etc. They LOVE the florescent fossils under black light - I have an aquarium set up for that but just a $5 black light flashlight works. How about beetles and trilobites? Oh, give them some dental tools and a $7 engraver from Harbor Freight and let them excavate some fossils from a rock - even the girls love power tools! For that matter, those $4 magnifying headbands from Harbor Freight are the cats meow for kids and fossils and bugs.  :-D

 

My blog has lots of kids stuff on it. My website has a parents' & teacher's resource page too. Good luck!

 

 

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WhodamanHD
6 hours ago, Tidgy's Dad said:

I do like this that Mason posted : 

I’m glad you like it:D

@I_gotta_rock

I will rummage around and see if I have anything to spare, I think I have a spare gator tooth somewhere, but no promises quite yet.  I won’t expect anything in return, I’m happy to help. I’ll PM you when I’m sure.

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caldigger
32 minutes ago, Bev said:

You didn't mention the ages of the children. If you can't find what you want, perhaps create a mold of what you want and allow them to make their own fossils! I found the kids love this here. Somewhere I have a post I put up on this perhaps in 2013 or 2014. I used reuseable silicone molds and put the recipe on there too. Another thing they enjoy - boys and girls - is make jewelry they can wear out of the fossils they make or ones you provide. Tools from the Dollar Store and some copper wire and cord are inexpensive and a hit. The boys really like the shark's teeth.  :-)  Allow them to collect twigs, stones, etc. to incorporate into their jewelry. Something to take home.

 

If there is sand around bury some fossils and minerals in the sand, give them cheap paint brushes and a sieve and allow them to do an excavation. I have a dedicated sandbox filled with fossils and minerals for the kids. Great hit even up to 10 years old!

 

If you can help them to create a timeline of earth history, that is a real eye opener. Even a glass with colored sand in it works, but if you can measure out on the ground and have kids stand at certain points with signs of the ages on paper it is a real WOW moment for them.  :-)

 

Birds are all descendants of the dinosaurs - chunk o sauros (unknown dino bones) are always cool. Then have them create a diorama with little dino characters (dollar store) and the real dino bones. Who doesn't love dinosaurs! Bring a chicken to camp - boy can you see the dino in them!

 

Show them a YouTube video of living crinoids. They haven't changed in 500 million years! Beautiful creatures! I'm sure you have some crinoid fossils laying around.

 

Show a pic of how North America was on the equator during the Ordovician - that is an eye opener!

 

Oh, and boys LOVE to break rocks! Give them a rock hammer and eye protection and let them swing at a rock to get the idea - limestone if you have some. WOW, do they love to break rock! Another thought is to bury some fossils in clay, let it dry, and let them break it. Kids love it when they are allowed to break things!

 

I like to emphasize the science in paleontology - math, biology, geology, etc. and how technology has advanced the science.

 

I wouldn't feel constrained to just the animals you have on site. Heck, they know what horses are, then show them pics of the tiny original horses and how they evolved. Same with dogs, cats, etc.

 

The kids love it when I dress the part! Hat, backpack, fossil hunting vest (fly fishing vest), hammer belt, knee pads, show the chisels and tools, etc. They LOVE the florescent fossils under black light - I have an aquarium set up for that but just a $5 black light flashlight works. How about beetles and trilobites? Oh, give them some dental tools and a $7 engraver from Harbor Freight and let them excavate some fossils from a rock - even the girls love power tools! For that matter, those $4 magnifying headbands from Harbor Freight are the cats meow for kids and fossils and bugs.  :-D

 

My blog has lots of kids stuff on it. My website has a parents' & teacher's resource page too. Good luck!

 

 

I wanna come play at Bev's house!

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Bev
Pagurus

Your programs look fantastic, Bev!  I'm impressed by your ability to make the program both educational and fun for people of all ages. Your activities with the kids are perfect for them! Well done. Thanks for sharing your ideas here on TFF.  :dinothumb:

 

 

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Bev
8 hours ago, Pagurus said:

Your programs look fantastic, Bev!  I'm impressed by your ability to make the program both educational and fun for people of all ages. Your activities with the kids are perfect for them! Well done. Thanks for sharing your ideas here on TFF.  :dinothumb:

 

 

Thank you so much Pagurus, but as I noted NONE of what I have done would be possible without the great people on TFF! All of these posts and so many more relating to kids and educating them on fossils are somewhere on TFF, but I don't know how to search the site effectively to find them easily, so I just lifted what I could find quickly from my site to give the author of the post some ideas.  :-)

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I_gotta_rock

So, this is the plan as we had id before I started looking for even more fossils: 

I have 7-8 year olds. All the stuff I mentioned as tradable, I have in quantity for the kids to sift for in the aforementioned kiddie pool, much as they would at the C&D Canal. They are going to make wire-wrap necklaces out of some of the belemnites from the sand pit.

 

We have plenty of sparkly metamorphic rock, hammers and goggles, so they will get to use the field tools to collect geologic stuff. OOH!, garnets and shiny quartz!! Hey, kids love glitter.

 

I have a portable black light and we have a darkroom on site, so they will get to play with the fluorescent stuff and maybe even take a few pictures with a mounted camera.

 

I have a large, plastic dino skeleton puzzle and a recipe for some good, homemade matrix. The dozen or so of them can spend the week excavating it with my prep tools while they wait for their late-arrival compatriots to arrive in the mornings. A big skeleton makes for more space and time for that many kids to go at it than one of the commercial kits. If I get out to Calvert Cliffs between now and then, they can go at it on some real matrix from the floor of the bay, too -- and learn how to preserve them with watered-down Elmer's.

 

We can make your own fossil prints from stuff we find in the woods, including plenty of animal tracks. I always carry plaster in my backpack during camp for such discoveries, anyway. The same, day, while we're talking about how fossils formed and making "fossils" from modern findings, they were going to meet the snappers and the alligator. I have some bits of turtle shell, enough to see a bit of texture, and thought that they could compare between the wiggly critter in my hands to the fossils in theirs.  Ditto my calamities branches (stump!!!) and a pot of horsetails or bamboo from the garden shop, which gave me the idea to see if I could find more examples. Crinoid pictures are easy to come by. Feather impressions, alligator teeth and scutes, horseshoe crab impressions, not so much around the Mid-atlantic, though my daughter has one very precious alligator tooth she found.  If we had dolphins to meet, I'd be great. Cetacean bones and teeth I have from Calvert Cliffs.

 

I have a download of the NPS Jr Ranger workbook and they are going to work through it during the week. In the extremely likely event that NPS stops offering patches, I am working on camp-specific patches to hand out at the end of the week.

 

I made a guessing game for people during National Fossil Day last year to try do guess which objects were fossils and which were not, so we'll do something like that, too.

 

We'll make dino-track cookies in the kitchen because I love having kids cook! I have a couple plastic dinos for the purpose.

 

I came up with the idea to hand each one of those many fossils samples and take a step for each million years since that thing was alive. THAT should really get them a concrete sense of how old is it, specially as they hike across they filed for the Devonian stuff!

 

I have story books for daily story time about Mary Anning, the timeline, and even a book called "Boy, Were They Wrong" about the history of understanding what all those bones in the rocks were about.

 

This is the first time probably in the history of the organization that this age group is actually going to get to leave the property for one whole day. It was a compromise to get me to agree to the changes. So, we are going to get a quick, behind the scenes tour of my work area at the Delaware Museum of Natural History, down the street, and then take a trip to the Delaware Bay where they can meet horseshoe crabs, look for drusey coral and maybe some crinoids and petrified wood, and generally play on the beach for a a couple hours.

 

There's more. I just can't remember it all. Haven't actually sat down to write a proper lesson plan yet.

 

We really need an education board to share ideas like this!

 

 

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I_gotta_rock
18 hours ago, Fruitbat said:

Sounds like a very ambitious and interesting program!  I wish that I had something to add to it but, unfortunately, I don't.  If you manage to find a fossilized Pileated Woodpecker I would love to hear about it though!

 

-Joe

I had no idea they were all that old as a genus u til I saw them on a list of living fossils on Wikipedia. We will, however, be talking about the relationship between bids and dinos, as well! As doing some birdwatching from a bird blind. It's amazing how quiet 7'-year-olds get in the bird blind!!!!

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Bev

Sounds like you have it well under control, "I gotta rock".  :-)

 

And I agree, it would be nice if there were an easy way to search TFF for educational ideas. Perhaps some kind of tag? I can imagine that would be hard as members come and  go through the years as do Admins...

 

I have no answers, I just try to share what little I know.  :-)

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Pagurus
2 hours ago, I_gotta_rock said:

I came up with the idea to hand each one of those many fossils samples and take a step for each million years since that thing was alive. THAT should really get them a concrete sense of how old is it, specially as they hike across they filed for the Devonian stuff!

 

I love this idea! I'd love to hear how it works out, and best of luck with camp! It sounds great! 

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Bev

It would be GREAT to have a post with lots of pics and an update as to what was a hit and what wasn't for future reference. :-)

 

Perhaps the Admins could let us know how these things should be tagged???

 

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Fruitbat

I_gotta_rock...

 

Woodpeckers have an evolutionary history as least as far back as the Oligocene.  Whether the Pileated woodpecker (Dryocopus) can be traced back that far I don't know.  They ARE magnificent birds though!  There is still a pretty decent population of them in some parts of eastern and southeastern Texas.

 

-Joe

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I_gotta_rock

Yes, the wood ducks nest in the holes the woodpeckers make around here. Bills like jack hammers!

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I_gotta_rock
21 hours ago, WhodamanHD said:

I’m glad you like it:D

@I_gotta_rock

I will rummage around and see if I have anything to spare, I think I have a spare gator tooth somewhere, but no promises quite yet.  I won’t expect anything in return, I’m happy to help. I’ll PM you when I’m sure.

That is so kind, Thanks. Send me a PM if you find it?

 

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Bev

So I contacted FossilDude19, an admin, and he will contact the others and see what they think about for creating an educators whatever so that these ideas can be put together into a one stop shop for teachers accessing info for activities to do with kids on paleontology.  :-)

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