Fossil Page


We like to look for a few fossils when we travel around the country and have some time to kill. We can't find much here in the northeast due to the glacier. We're not exactly scientists at this activity; we more or less rip up as many rocks as we can find, destroying the site, keeping no records of the archeological context, and then smashing potentially priceless specimens with crude hammers. In other words, typical American collectors.

Actually, it may not be quite that bad; we make every effort to comply with all applicable Federal, State, and local statutes that we know about. (We're not exactly lawyers, either.) small fossils

We recently made a fun trip to Tennessee to celebrate Laura's parents 50th wedding anniversary, as described in the 98 Xmas web page. We found quite a few fun fossils, pictured on this page. I photographed these fossils myself, indoors, so the quality leaves something to be desired, but we think they're pretty interesting, anyway. (Try clicking on a small image to see a larger version. You may find out if you should have bought that faster modem or that cable internet service.)

Just walking around a construction site near my sister-in-law's home you can find small fossils on the ground. Some of these look like small clam shells; I think they may be dalmanella or zygospira fossils, as described in many places on the web. small fossils

Others are interesting cylindrical crinoid stems. At top left in the image are some of these which can just be picked up on the ground. At top right is one which was just exposed to the light for the first time in thousands of years. It is nice and sharp, showing no erosion, and really shows you the structure of the original beastie. It looks like a steel bolt, but is actually the stem of a plant.

The black blob at lower right actually contains a small fossil of the shell type, but it is hard to see (even in the real rock). Why is it in the picture? Poor photo composition.

The rock containing the interesting embedded crinoid stem is actually a mother-lode of fossils. This thing contains dozens or hundreds of fossilized things, all crammed together. At left is another slightly out-of-focus shot of the rock. small fossils

If that whets your appetite, most of the rest of this thing (or as much as we exposed) can be seen in the next image. At bottom left is what looks like a cylinder on a pedestal; the cylinder is the stem and the pedestal is actually the crown. Try this link for more info. . To its immediate right is the other half of the rock split to expose it. You can get an idea of the size of the cavity holding it. The fragment at top left has another one of these crinoid stems in it. It looks pretty dark, and we didn't try to expose it any more for fear of destroying it. It's fun to look at if you have the actual rock, though. More of these things can be found here and there if you look.

small fossils Another rock showed an interesting white quartz-like effect. Possibly the space that one of those crinoid stems left was partially filled by some infiltrating substance. (How's that for advanced geology? And to think that I never had a geology course in my life. What? You can tell?)

This page under construction

In other words, as soon as we find our other fossils in the geological specimen archives (the attic), we'll consider shooting a few pictures of them to show the breadth of our collection. Actually, most of the best stuff is already here!

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Page last updated 11 November 2009