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Why dont users share fossil hunting locations on public forums?


Prowlbeast

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Hi all!

I'm not sure if this is an actual rule or an unspoken rule, but why don't people want to share fossil hunting locations in forum replies?

 

I am from Alberta, and there aren't many threads on where to hunt here, I know there are prime locations around the area, but I was hoping to find tips on good specific locations.

Unfortunately I had a lot of trouble finding much of anything when I didn't have an account, because people said that people don't share locations in public replies.

 

Why is that? If the location is legal, wouldn't it be ok?

I'm not sure if it was the specific forums I saw or not, I'm new.

 

Just wondering why people prefer to DM locations. I can only think of vandalism, but I cant see how badly one would want to vandalize dirt and rocks that are in the middle of nowhere, lol.

Hope this is okay to ask here, cheers!

:ighappy:

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Welcome to the Forum.

 

Fossil localities can get wiped out if the exact locality is posted on the internet. Knowing the stratigraphic layer and general location is actually more useful to find fossils even though it is more work. The more work you put into hunting, the luckier you get. 
 

Also, fossils generally cannot be protected with a claim as many minerals can. You can’t keep anyone away from your find on public land. Thus anyone can collect on public land with a few rules.

 

Joining a local fossil, mineral or geology society is a good way to find out about localities not easily found on the internet.

Edited by DPS Ammonite
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My goal is to leave no stone or fossil unturned.   

See my Arizona Paleontology Guide    link  The best single resource for Arizona paleontology anywhere.       

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I have shared many of my self discovered fossil sites here, because its all about bivalves, gastropods and corals. These types of fossils are not interesting to the general public and the sites has been very rarely visited by other people than me.

I was advised not to share ammonite, trilobite or dino sites, if I ever encounter any ;).

(Will not, because I have stopped prospecting and collecting.)

Franz Bernhard

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Hi,

 

Finding productive fossil sites requires a lot of work, reading scientific publications, researching geological maps, field travel and prospecting, often to come home empty-handed. So not to mention the risks of destruction or looting (resale = money) when places are communicated, you will understand that someone who spends years looking for interesting sites prefers to keep them to himself. One does not give its sites so easily, it would be too easy: I arrive and I ask, one gives me and goodbye...

 

It’s like asking good places from mushroom hunters or fishermen, he will keep them for himself even if he is your boyfriend !

 

One of the best ways to understand geology and paleontology is to join a local club. You’ll go out with them and learn a lot ;)

 

Coco

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----------------------
OUTIL POUR MESURER VOS FOSSILES : ici

Ma bibliothèque PDF 1 (Poissons et sélaciens récents & fossiles) : ici
Ma bibliothèque PDF 2 (Animaux vivants - sans poissons ni sélaciens) : ici
Mâchoires sélaciennes récentes : ici
Hétérodontiques et sélaciens : ici
Oeufs sélaciens récents : ici
Otolithes de poissons récents ! ici

Un Greg...

Badges-IPFOTH.jpg.f4a8635cda47a3cc506743a8aabce700.jpg Badges-MOTM.jpg.461001e1a9db5dc29ca1c07a041a1a86.jpg

 

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The answer is varied, but, Basically, ... a lot of hard work,  - research online, in person, at libraries, etc, ... reading scientific papers, gas money, travel,  TIME, ... sweat, hiking, bushwhacking, and prospecting go into finding fossil sites. Researching who owns the land. Asking for permission from private land owners.  Many miles walked, tons of rocks split, tons of soil moved, miles of ground covered, sometimes on foot, sometimes on hands and knees, and personal learning go into finding fossil sites. Mud slogged through. Rivers waded, or kayaked. Broken fossils, or striking out entirely, time after time. 

Fossil "HUNTING" is just that. Hunting for fossils. Sometimes you find treasure. Sometime you find nothing. Luck plays some part. Skill, knowledge and dedication, hard work, sharp eyes, pattern recognition, and putting in the time, are some other key parts.

 

Imagine, spending months, or years even, finding a great site, that produces cool and rare fossils.  Hooray!. Finally all of your hard work has paid off! Congratulations.

 

Just posting sites online gives the site away to anyone who cares to read about it online.  If one doesn't have to work for it, one does not appreciate those efforts involved.

 

So you show your cool fossils to all of your friends, and let slip where the site is.  A bunch of people go there,  (with or without your permission and knowledge) and collect every fossil they stumble upon.  Then they all tell their friends what a great spot it is, and so on.  Next time you go, you see the landscape has changed, and there are fewer fossils to find. Lots of garbage strewn around, and spray paint/graffiti are everywhere.

 

Then you have the commercial fossil hunters, who are only in it to make money, and try to sell all of their finds.  They will also pick a place clean.   Sometimes with machinery, or a team of diggers. They have no regard for your investment, as they just had to read some website, and go find all of the fossils you worked so hard to find yourself. 

Then, you have the disrespectful people who, just do not care, and will vandalize a site, leave all their trash,  spray paint the rock walls,  party at the site and leave all their debris. Fire pits. Cans, bags, food, toilet paper. Trash everywhere.

 

Next thing you know, the site is fenced off, closed to collecting, and/or devoid of fossils, and no longer the pristine site you worked your tail off to find. The holes you dug to reach the productive layer are filled in, and  new holes are everywhere. Your site, is no longer YOUR SITE, and is soon to be closed to collecting, if it hasn't been already, by whomever owns the land.

 

Do you want to post your wonderful site online now, for anyone with eyes, the ability to read, and half a brain to go and scoop up all the fossils you worked so hard to access, find, get to, extract, and marvel at?

 

                                                                            All of these things have happened in real life, and it isn't pretty.                                                                

 

 

That is why we try to limit the amount of information posted online. 

 

People, unfortunately, cannot be trusted to NOT ruin something good. It only takes a few bad apples to ruin things for everyone.

 

 

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    Tim    -  VETERAN SHALE SPLITTER

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About 20 some years ago I gave a fellow directions to my best ever gastropod site.  He got a permit of some kind and literally dug it up right out of the river bed with a large excavator  and not only destroyed it for me, but for everyone.  Its very very very rare that I let go of any of my fossil site info much anymore.   The pics are the reason he wanted to hunt the site.  I thought he was one of the 'good' guys.  

 

RB

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20 minutes ago, RJB said:

gastropod site

Ooookay! Excavator does not sound very gently.

Franz Bernhard

 

 

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I always liked to share my locality info with others. I enjoy being able to share around the love and help others find fossils. But what everyone else says is true, and when I have blatantly given away locality info or mentioned a location or asked about sites, it has only ever brought about trouble of some kind. Now I don’t do it anymore, not because I don’t want to, but because a few people have ruined it and everyone else is so affected by shared poor experiences that they sometimes react harshly too. I’m tired of sincerely wanting to discuss or share site info and it backfiring on me. However, me and many others on here and in real life outside the internet are still willing to share and help you via PM. I just am a bit more careful now :). Like everyone else says, it does take a lot of hard work to find a new spot, and I don’t immediately share those locations with trusted people. Only after I’ve sufficiently collected the site (or determined if it’s of interest to science or not, if I’m planning on sharing with random people. They may not know if a fossil is scientifically important). I guess what I’m trying to say is: heed all warnings mentioned in this thread because they are TRUE. But also, it’s a very nice place to be as a collector and as a person if you have the ability to share and spread the love of paleontology with others. Just be careful!

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A reminder that the opening salvo in the Bone Wars was Cope showing Marsh his collecting site (Haddonfield, NJ) only to have Marsh contact the landowner, buy the site and ban other collectors (including Cope).  Consequences of site sharing are as old as paleontology itself.

 

 

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1 minute ago, JBkansas said:

A reminder that the opening salvo in the Bone Wars was Cope showing Marsh his collecting site only to have Marsh contact the landowner, buy the site and ban other collectors (including Cope).  Consequences of site sharing are as old as paleontology itself.

 

 

I know of 2 people this same exact thing happened to.  <_<  :(  :shakehead:

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    Tim    -  VETERAN SHALE SPLITTER

   VFOTM.png.f1b09c78bf88298b009b0da14ef44cf0.png    VFOTM  --- APRIL - 2015       MOTM.png.61350469b02f439fd4d5d77c2c69da85.png      PaleoPartner.png.30c01982e09b0cc0b7d9d6a7a21f56c6.png.a600039856933851eeea617ca3f2d15f.png     Postmaster1.jpg.900efa599049929531fa81981f028e24.jpg        IPFOTM -- MAY - 2024   IPFOTM5.png.fb4f2a268e315c58c5980ed865b39e1f.png

_________________________________________________________________________________
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."

John Muir ~ ~ ~ ~   ><))))( *>  About Me      

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16 minutes ago, Fossildude19 said:

I know of 2 people this same exact thing happened to.

Would be interesting if this could happen in Austria.

Most fossil sites are in forests and the random guy here isn´t allowed to buy some forest. Even then, forest law still applies, which means the site can be accessed freely, as long as is officially forest. Well, you can close off some stretches of forest for some time for logging etc. But its really not easy to keep people officially off for long time from forests.

Franz Bernhard

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2 hours ago, JBkansas said:

A reminder that the opening salvo in the Bone Wars was Cope showing Marsh his collecting site (Haddonfield, NJ) only to have Marsh contact the landowner, buy the site and ban other collectors (including Cope).  Consequences of site sharing are as old as paleontology itself.

 

Ps. Marsh was a dick.

A club I used to belong to had a commercial dealer join (he did not disclose that he was a dealer), go on a lot of club trips, then he contacted landowners and leased the best sites and shut everyone including the club out.  For some people making money is the only ethics they understand.

 

Don

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An additional bit of thorniness is Alberta's restrictive fossil laws. @Prowlbeast, you would be best served by joining your local rock club because they will not only know the best local sites, they'll help you know how to keep out of trouble.

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Hi,

 

In my region I regularly went to hunt in a very small site of Redonian shells (Pliocene basal), a very rare level composed of a few small lentils present only in the West of France. We were very few to go, all we sieved and brought back the various fractions of the sieving to wash and sort at home, because the shells are small, on average 0.5 cm to 1 cm. The layer was "exploited" gently, cleanly, without loss of sediment, about 1 m deep, and we were moving forward regularly.

 

Then one day, I found the site collapsed, shovelled, shells scattered all over the ground. Those who came were looking for shark, but we find teeth maybe only 1 or 2 per cubic meter! The site was ransacked and today it can no longer be accessed.

 

@jpc can attest to how we worked on this site, as I had the pleasure of taking him there.

 

Coco

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----------------------
OUTIL POUR MESURER VOS FOSSILES : ici

Ma bibliothèque PDF 1 (Poissons et sélaciens récents & fossiles) : ici
Ma bibliothèque PDF 2 (Animaux vivants - sans poissons ni sélaciens) : ici
Mâchoires sélaciennes récentes : ici
Hétérodontiques et sélaciens : ici
Oeufs sélaciens récents : ici
Otolithes de poissons récents ! ici

Un Greg...

Badges-IPFOTH.jpg.f4a8635cda47a3cc506743a8aabce700.jpg Badges-MOTM.jpg.461001e1a9db5dc29ca1c07a041a1a86.jpg

 

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That's sad to hear, what happened to these fossil sites. I only hunt at the public beaches that everyone knows about here in northern Germany, and where its no big secret that you can find fossils there. There are always collectors, to pick the beach clean, but I don't really complain about that, as there will be always new pieces below the pebbles or just get washed up by the sea every storm or day.

Are good signatures really that important ?

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Because humans don't respect what they haven't earned themselves.  Humans and finite resources don't mix.  More people, more problems.

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Grüße,

Daniel A. Wöhr aus Südtexas

"To the motivated go the spoils."

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10,000 people show up the next day and pick it clean, dig holes everywhere and leave piles of garbage. Simple enough, if you don't want that to happen where you worked hard to find fossils, don't tell anyone.

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Mark.

 

Fossil hunting is easy -- they don't run away when you shoot at them!

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/28/2024 at 12:08 AM, Coco said:

Hi,

 

In my region I regularly went to hunt in a very small site of Redonian shells (Pliocene basal), a very rare level composed of a few small lentils present only in the West of France. We were very few to go, all we sieved and brought back the various fractions of the sieving to wash and sort at home, because the shells are small, on average 0.5 cm to 1 cm. The layer was "exploited" gently, cleanly, without loss of sediment, about 1 m deep, and we were moving forward regularly.

 

Then one day, I found the site collapsed, shovelled, shells scattered all over the ground. Those who came were looking for shark, but we find teeth maybe only 1 or 2 per cubic meter! The site was ransacked and today it can no longer be accessed.

 

@jpc can attest to how we worked on this site, as I had the pleasure of taking him there.

 

Coco

Where is the sad/crying emoji?  I was there with coco and her friend (my wife slept in the car) for a few hours or more and we found one shark tooth.  But I have a fine little collection of fine shells form an age that does not exist here in Wyoming.  

 

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Well people may not like what I am going to say. But a lot of people either got those localities by being given or looking for them. It's most of the the time 50/50.

 

People are entitled in my opinion to decide on their own to share or not. Most of the time they will never share these. All because they are selfish and want everything for themselves. I've encountered of fossil collecters and hunters who ask everyone for new localities, but won't give them away to people who really want to find stuff as well. A lot of fossil collectors/hunters are a bit weird. And often lack social skills in my opinion. 

 

I think it's important to share a big amount of these when people ask for them privately. They don't need to. But to expand the rather small fossil community. It's important to actually communicate well with old and experienced collectors with newbies. 

 

Yet we see often people choose their selfish believes because they feel better about themselves/want to feel better or important. 

 

However, there are a lot of people who really look for these take hours and days to find them. So then I do get they do not always share it (publicly). 

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There is of course the problem of how they are leaving these sites behind. What I personally saw at Hoevenen, they kind of ruined it themselves. Almost ALL were part of the problem with leaving trash behind, not filling up the dug holes on what is private land. Where first they didn't really care. But because a lot of people who did not care and were constantly digging and not filling it back up. Ruined it for the rest.

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19 minutes ago, JorisVV said:

All because they are selfish and want everything for themselves.

I'm hoping this was lost in translation.  Otherwise, it seems like an unfair generalization.  :headscratch:

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Fin Lover

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3 minutes ago, Fin Lover said:

I'm hoping this was lost in translation.  Otherwise, it seems like an unfair generalization.  :headscratch:

Maybe read what I said! It's not generalized. But it happens so much these days and you well know why. I said not everyone are like this. But a good amount of them are.

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24 minutes ago, JorisVV said:

Maybe read what I said! It's not generalized. But it happens so much these days and you well know why. I said not everyone are like this. But a good amount of them are.

Perhaps specific to the local areas near you?

 

I agree many sites are passed from person to person through word of mouth (when you can actually meet a person and learn a bit about their character which you cannot do on a forum or the internet in general).  I think here in the US at least its either mostly private land (therefore trespassing) or deciding if you trust people you have never met (the internet) in person to show the same care to a site as you would yourself. When people don't show that care, sites get closed for everyone. I don't think there is the same issue here when people properly meet each other.  

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*Frank*

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1 minute ago, FB003 said:

Perhaps specific to the local areas near you?

 

I agree many sites are passed from person to person through word of mouth (when you can actually meet a person and learn a bit about their character which you cannot do on a forum or the internet in general).  I think here in the US at least its either mostly private land (therefore trespassing) or deciding if you trust people you have never met (the internet) in person to show the same care to a site as you would yourself. When people don't show that care, sites get closed for everyone. I don't think there is the same issue here when people properly meet each other.  

It is mostly experience from around the area here. Not I had personal issues per se, but heard know of way too many problems regarding this. And people act way too entitled for location they are gifted themselves.

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1 hour ago, JorisVV said:

I think it's important to share a big amount of these when people ask for them privately.

A a group of fossil sites was offered to me via a map. I did not even had a look at this map but deleted it, because I was not allowed to make that info eventually public.

Franz Bernhard

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