How to Find Fossils
Sometimes a rock’s just a rock … and sometimes it’s a fossil. How can you tell the difference?
Research which fossils are common where you’ll be hiking
Stop by a museum or visitor center, call a local university’s geology department or search for a club of paleontologists (people who study fossils of plants and animals).
Find the right kind of rocks
Fossils are found in sedimentary rocks, like sandstone, limestone or shale. Sedimentary rocks look like layered pancakes.
Look for exposed rock
Check out stream cuts, bluffs, sea cliffs, road cuts or any place where bedrock is eroding.
You’ll see more fossils when you’re on your hands and knees. Use a magnifying lens. Form a “search image” in your mind. If you spotted ammonites at a nearby rock shop, think about what they looked like. Search for spirals and snail shapes. And remember that most fossils are small sea animals – not rare dinosaur bones.
Don’t take fossils
Leave fossils as you found them, so others can enjoy them, unless directed otherwise by local authorities. If you think you’ve found something unusual, make a careful note of its exact location — information that’s as important as the rock itself. A fossil’s location tells its story, where and how the animal lived.
FIVE EASY-TO-FIND FOSSILS
Here are five fossils that you can look for on your next hike.
People in the Middle Ages called ammonoids “snake stones” because they thought the fossils were coiled snakes.
Scientists say most brachiopods disappeared 250 million years ago, when as much as 95 percent of ocean animals died in a mass extinction.
Algae lives inside the coral, giving it nutrients and oxygen.
This flower-shaped animal’s anus was next to its mouth.
Growing trilobites crawled out of old exoskeletons through head splits, giving their fossils “facial structures.”
Wet your finger and touch it. If it feels sticky, it’s a fossil. If not, then it’s a rock!
I have found a lot of marine animal fossils on sharktooth hill. [bakersfield,CA] You people look there. i found a mosasaurus fossil, IT WAS HUGE!!! just saying look there they’re are megaladon teeth there too!!
I am 14 years old and I didn’t find one but I was given one so I don’t know how old it is and what its name Is it looks so cool you should see it
If you have a limestone driveway,you will be able to find some fossils. I have found around 50 in our driveway.
Where should you find the fossils? It doesn’t really say.
Hi I shell and I found a lot of shell fossil on my property and a lot stones plus gold flakes..
Tell me, were are the best locations to find fossils.
I found 10000 yr old fossils of a TREE and by my research it was a oak tree
This is useful info. I will use it to look for some!
California is a GREAT place to find fossils, well the ones shown above…
In utah there is this mine called timeless treasures mine and you can find trilobites everywhere.
hi i am doing a project on fossils with my class the info was helpful
I’m 9 years old and I find an ammonite fossil. According to its markings, it is 75 million years old from the Cretaceous period in the Mesazoic Era!
COOL WERE DID YOU FIND THEM
i think i have lots of fosils then lost them
were would you look for fossils ? I’M trying to look for them but no sign of any. Could you help me?
I really need some tips on how to find fossils and where to find them!
I just found a trilobite in the appalation mts
finding fossils are fun to find
I’ve found many ocean fossils in stream cut shale rocks.
I have to, I am with troop 93, and it is SO fun to find coral!
how to find a good fossil
I found a T-Rex fore claw! 🙂
Im in southwest Virginia and im tryin to find fossils..any suggestions??