Fossil hunt.

Ink Thin Layer Chromatography results.

What's special about this sea shells? They look pretty boring, aren't they? Well, we found them pretty far away from the nearest beach. The sea was about 50 kilometers (~25 miles) away. We found them on the hill. And later we found out they are approximately 10 million years old.

They are "young" fossils. They are also pretty interesting fossils because their fossilization have not completed yet. After 10 million years spend under the ground in the body of a mudstone they still look very muck like a normal shells and some of them still keep their original color. Calcium of the shells have not been replaced by minerals and even some organic coating of the shell have not completely decayed. The silt they were buried in have not become proper stone which made their excavation pretty simple business.

There are only few places on the Earth where you can go for a walk and suddenly find a T-rex bone. However there are plenty of places where you can find remains of many other organisms that inhabited earth in the ancient times. Dinosaurs were pretty cool but only small branch of the incredible amount of extinct creatures. So chances are somewhere not too far away from your home you can dig something up.

First of all you'll need to find out where to look. Google will help, of cause. You ask for something like "fossils of NAME OF YOUR CITY/AREA/STATE" or "YOUR STATE/REGION paleontology". This searches will give you plenty of links to the local paleontology recourses including local fossils descriptions, local paleontology societies etc. There will be tips on where and what to look for and what kind of equipment you will need (think of geology hammer) and how use it safely.

You'll need to find out precise location of the fossil bearing rocks - if you miss them by few hundred meters you won't find anything.

We used our friend directions and google maps to find location.

You also want to check if the fossil-land is in private property. If it's not there still may be some regulations or restrictions for fossil digging. When you sort it out plan your trip for the nearest weekend and come back with something cool!

Cool Pictures