Fossils are familiar to most of us as the hardened, three-dimensional remains of ancient plants and animals, whose tissues have been impregnated by, or replaced with, minerals such as calcite, iron, and silica, thus arresting their inevitable decay. Because the mineralization process results in a rock that’s usually harder than the material around it, especially in the case of petrification, fossils are durable snapshots of the past.

But the universe of fossils also includes the impressions of such organisms, like the outline of a leaf preserved on a layer of slate, or the footprint of an animal left in mud that then filled in with sandy sediment, thus capturing this trace of the animal’s fleeting time on earth.

Collectors of fossils have an extraordinary number of pieces to choose from. Invertebrate fossils range from sponges and corals to trilobites and ammonites, the later of which were wiped out some 66 million years ago when an asteroid about six miles wide and traveling 45,000 miles per hour plowed into what is now the Yucatan peninsula, vaporizing pretty much everything on the surface of North America in about two minutes and causing the extinction of about 75 percent of the rest of the planet’s life forms in the years that followed.

Vertebrate fossils include fish, whether it’s the delicate outline of a perch or a single menacing shark’s tooth, as well as the bones of birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, and, yes, dinosaurs, which joined the ammonites in the planet’s last great die-off, prior to the one we’re in right now.

Trace fossils are particularly interesting. In addition to prints, trace fossils includes borings and burrows. Chondrite fossils are often mistaken for plant fossils because they resemble the branching stems of a conifer or perhaps delicate roots. In fact, they are the remains of burrows created by roundworms. Another group of invertebrates that resemble plants are graptolites, which can look like leaves (retiolites) and fanlike ferns (rhabdinopora).

Crustacea are favorites because of their familiar shapes (crabs, shrimp), as are bivalves, mollusks, and insects—for some people, the shape of a fossilized dragonfly is not only visually appealing, but also seems a link between ancient and modern times.

Still, bones are the prize, especially those of diapsid reptiles such as the megalania, which lived in Australia during the Pleistocene epoch and was the larger (20-foot-long) forebear of the Komodo Dragon. More common are the teeth and other remains of equus, the ancient cousin to the contemporary horse.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

National Carousel Association

National Carousel Association

Since 1973, the National Carousel Association has been dedicated to preserving and restoring carousels and carousel… [read review or visit site]



Most watched eBay auctions    

Found, 6.12 Inch Rare Calico - Megalodon Fossil Shark ToothMuseum Quality Megalodon Shark Tooth Covered In CoralMuseum Quality Fossil Triarthrus Trilobite W/legs, Antenna & Gills!4.2" Hollardops Trilobite Fossil On Matrix From Morocco5.67 In Fossil Megalodon Shark Tooth ( Sharp Serrations Nice Tip )Very Large, Polished Arizona Petrified Wood Round-triple HeartIncredible Large Perfect Olenellus Trilobite Fossil!Large, Polished Colorful Arizona Petrified Wood Round-end CutMuseum Quality Stenaster Starfish Fossil! Mueum Quality Olenellus Trilobite Fossil! California! Killer Walcott-rust Ceraurus Trilobite Fossil! Near Max Size! Fossil Ammonite: Dactylioceras Athleticum - Perfect 8cm Large Whitby Specimen.Very Nice Quality 6.3cm Asaphus Cornutus, Ordovician Trilobite, Symmetric&prone!Beautiful & Rar Agate Woolly Mammoth Molar Tooth Mastodon Fossil Rock, BabyVery Large Polished Arizona Petrified Wood Round-black ForestVery Detaled Trilobite With Nice Terracing Lines And Muscular Attachment Scars Megalodon Giant Shark Tooth Fossil Natural No Repair 4.56" Beautiful Huge Tooth Megalodon Shark Tooth Teeth Fossil Dinosaur 5 &5/16 " - 135mmFossil Dinosaur Spinosaurus Claw Digit Assemblage North AfricaVery Nice 6 5/8'' Megalodon Tooth, Beautiful Dark Colors! /fossil Sharks TeethBlue Forest Petrified Wood 6 Pound Tree TrunkLarge, Multi-colored Arizona Petrified Wood RoundAlmost 6 (5.94) Inch Huge Megalodon Extinct Giant Shark Tooth (sbdem-7)Beautiful, Unknown Fossil Tooth Specimen- Vintage Estate Find- 15.6 Grams.Big - Over 4 & 3/4 In. * Lee Creek - Aurora *  megalodon Shark Tooth - Megladon*rare* 23” Walrus Oosik Collectible *baculum (bone)* Museum ConditionSuper Serrated 4 11/16'' Megalodon Tooth, Beautiful Colors!!/fossil Sharks TeethLarge Polished Arizona Petrified Wood RoundSpinosaurus Teeth Tooth Dinosaur Fossil 3" - 80mmAuthentic Oviraptor Dinosaur Fossil Egg 58.65 Pound Tree Log Rainbow Petrified Wood Northern Arizona 12" Beautiful FaceHuge Polished Arizona Petrified Wood Round-17 Inches WideSis: Big 9.6 Lb. Petrified Wood Log - Fossil White Ash - Mcdermitt, OrNew Species Of Ceraurus Trilobite From The Black River Group (ordovician)Squalodon Tooth Oligicene Fossil MammalPerfect Ceraurus Globulatus Trilobite. No Resto, Great PprepJuvenile 4.8cm Asaphus Expansus, Ordovician Trilobite From RussiaKiller 4 5/8" Megalodon Shark Tooth Teeth Extinct Jaw Fossil Megladon Serrated 4 15/16'' Megalodon Tooth, Beautiful Colors!! /fossil Sharks TeethRobust Illaenidae Trilobite Species, Illaenus Sinuatus HolmBig - 2.40 In.  aurora - Lee Creek Mako Shark Tooth - No Reserve!4 (4.92) Inch Big Megalodon Extinct Giant White Shark Tooth (sbdcm-83)Hell Creek Dinosaur Fossil Large Pachycephalosaurus Toe Bone4.04" - 3.83" Large Megalodon Shark Tooth Fossils - 4 Teeth Trilobite Fossil, Boeckops, From Morocco5 (5.57) Inch Huge Megalodon Extinct Giant Shark Tooth (sbdem-13)Fossil Crab Petrolisthes Magnus5 1/8" Huge Megalodon Shark Tooth Teeth Fossil Megladon W/ Display StandFossil Ammonite: Arnioceras Kridoides Multi-block - Yorkshire Coast Specimen.Rare Manchurochelys Liaoxiensis A Nice Turtle Fossil For Decoration Collection 1Cretaceous Chinese Liaoning Manchurochelys Liaoxiensis Dinosaur Turtle Fossil T6Megalodon Fossil Giant Sharks Teeth Ocean No Repair 5.90" Huge Beautiful ToothHadrosaur Duckbill Dinosaur Fossil Egg Museum Grade Rare Cretaceous Jurassic De55 (5.53) Inch Huge Rare Color Megalodon Extinct Giant Shark Tooth (sbdem-8)Megalodon Giant Shark Tooth Fossil Natural No Repair 5.93" Huge Beautiful Tooth Asaphus Plautini, Ordovician Trilobite, Good Size 8.5cm, Cleaned Hypostom!2.51 In Fossil Megalodon Shark Tooth ( Angustiden )3.7" Whole Ammonite Fossil Sutured Patterns - MadagascarTriple Hadrosaur Duckbill Dinosaur Fossil Museum Egg Nest Cretaceous Jurassic Rare Trilobite Dalmanites, Silurian, Sweden (eb919)