Finding Ancient Things

In this BBC article, a 4 year old recently found a dinosaur footprint on the beach. Wouldn’t that be fun? Do any of you have access to ancient things, such as fossils? If not, what are your favorite resources on finding them online or in museums, etc?
Thanks.

Dinosaur footprint found by girl, four, on Barry beach - BBC News

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I found two belemnites, one at a Luton (NNE. of London) airport carpark dug in to a chalk scarp, I thought it was a Victorian window sash weight at first, and the other in a freshly hard cored curb awaiting a concrete pour. Magical.

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I had to look that up. Way cool, thanks! I didn’t know they were squidlike, with an internal skeleton that can tell you the temperature of the ocean at the time they lived because of the oxygen isotope composition. It’s also fascinating that they tend to preserve facing in the direction of the prevailing current.

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I got to go on a fossil dig once at Lake Florissant Fossil Beds in Colorado. I’m a member of the American Museum of Natural History. And finally, I feel that I am a bit of a fossil myself.

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This - as visited by Alfred Russell, Lord Wallace - has this, that was discovered by a local schoolboy. One of the greatest ‘missing links’ of all.

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That looks like a great place for my kids to visit. There is a virtual tour I think I’ll watch with them. Thanks!

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I “found” some sauropod footprints in a local riverbed. It is part of the Glen Rose formation famous for the fake human prints beside the Dino prints, but a hundred or so miles away from that site at Glen Rose itself. I was directed there by a book “Roadside Geology of Texas” and I think every state has a version. It is really neat in that if you are on a road trip, you can see geologic formations explained in the road cuts you pass, and the hill and mountains you drive by.

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For some reason there is no “Roadside Geology of Alabama” but we do have “ Lost Worlds in Alabama Rocks” by Alabama Geological Society that I got yesterday from the library. I’ve not found any fossils. I’ve found some ancient shells though. But it’s something I’m interested in and will begin reading at least one book every other month focused on geology this this. I’m mostly focused on reading mushroom and fern books this year.

As mentioned before there is a great geology podcast, though it’s focused on Washington state, called “ The Nick Zentner Geology Podcast” and he has YouTube videos as well. He also seems to be a EC Catholic.

This is a subject though I know very little about it but from what I’ve learned so far they all suggest looking at maps of how each area looked like throughout the ages. It’s how I learned about the Western Interior Seaway. So if you learn that about your state, and learn about the size and movement of things like glaciers that went through your area and where they stopped roughly , and learn about river movements and how far they can carry things like rocks, or can all be put together to help determine best locations. Sort of like how “ Your Inner Fish” hints at zeroing in on where they wanted to look.

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Something like that would be amazing to find. Unfortunately, I don’t think we’re in a great area for finding fossils. But there is a place nearby where you can do sluicing from mined dirt, and my kids have done that and found a few small pieces of tourmaline, garnet, and such. Maybe not “ancient,” but a lot older than we are.

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Hundreds of millions of years.

Nowhere near as cool as discovering a fossil, but the tours available at the Alberta Dinosaur Provincial park get you to remains in the wild, so it’s pretty nerdy fun. Centrosaurus bones were everywhere.

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Shoot, been there, but it was raining buckets and my wife was sick. :slightly_smiling_face:

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You saw it at its best.

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Ha! I just read your comment right after I said that elsewhere. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Nebraska is not devoid:

Places in Nebraska to Visit Cenozoic Rocks

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States and countries generally have a geological survey that has maps of regional geology available. For fossils, you want an area with sedimentary rocks or sediments. Practically all of Alabama (except a small bit towards Auburn) has sedimentary rock, for example, with Paleozoic fossils often abundant to the northeast and Cretaceous through Cenozoic along the western and southern parts. I’m in the middle of highly metamorphosed rocks here in the North Carolina Piedmont, so no fossils except the ones I’ve collected. The commercial gem mine operations (including at the Ark Encounter) are typically buying stuff to toss in for you to find, so who knows where it came from or what the exact age is. Except for areas with fresh volcanic rock and some tropical beaches, most actual rock is at least about 110,000 years old, but there are areas with sediment not hardened into rock that is over a thousand times as old. I focus on fossil shells, but do pick up other things when I find them.

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Just back from camping a Pedernales Falls State Park, the series of short falls are in 400 million year old limestone, common to find crinoid fossils. Note tilting of the limestone layers and stair steps of the falls. Just a trickle

now, but often rises up to 20 feet or so in spring floods

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I have done extensive collection at a small quarry in Columbus Co. NC. The fauna present is from the lower part of the early Pleistocene Waccamaw Formation. I have so far found 742 species of mollusks (about a third of them undescribed). My profile picture, as well as the pictures here https://discourse.biologos.org/t/the-eyeball-as-testimony-to-evolution/44558/146 are of things from there.

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