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    

3.9" Large Whole Ammonite Fossil Sutured Patterns Cretaceous From Madagascar 3.0" Phacops Trilobite Fossil On Matrix From MoroccoAmazing Egg Of An Aepyornis Maximus From Madagascar, Extinct Elephant BirdAmazing Egg Of An Aepyornis Maximus From Madagascar, Extinct Elephant Bird Super Rare No Repair! Cuban Carcharocles Megalodon Shark Tooth CubaHell Creek Dinosaur Fossil Large Hadrosaur Edmontosaurus Hoof Core Ungual5 11/16+ Inch Long Hooked Tip Megalodon Shark Tooth Teeth Fossil *very Nice*100 Million Year Old Museum Quality Dinosaur Egg Dug In China No ReserveHell Creek Dinosaur Fossil Pachycephalosaurus Jaw PieceMighty 4 3/4" Megalodon Shark Tooth Teeth Extinct Jaw Fossil Megladon Monster 4 & 15/16 In. African T-rex - Dinosaur Tooth - CarcharondontosaurusLarge Size- Ammonite Fossil Cut And Polished To See Inside Crystallized Chambers2.1" Pyrite Ammonite Fossil W/ Drusy Filled Chambers - Mickhailov, Russia1305 Gr. Genuine Natural Baltic Raw Amber Stone Set, 10 - 54 Grams Each.Big Torpedo 4 3/4" Megalodon Shark Tooth Teeth Extinct Jaw Fossil Megladon Hell Creek Dinosaur Fossils 14 Theropod Teeth Collection Sweet 3 3/8 " Megalodon Shark Tooth Teeth Extinct Jaw Fossil Megladon Hell Creek Dinosaur Fossils 35 Triceratops Horridus Shed Teeth5 1/8 Inch St. Mary's River Megalodon Shark Tooth Teeth Fossil *beautiful*5 1/2+ Inch Long Megalodon Shark Tooth Teeth Fossil No Repair *nice*Serrated 5 3/8'' Megalodon Tooth, Very Nice!! /fossil Sharks TeethRare Western Liaoning Fossil Chinese Best Triassic Keichousaurus Turtle Fossil 4.47 Inch Georgia Scuba Megalodon Shark Tooth Teeth Jaw Fossil Mako Great WhiteWow ! 130mm Geode Ammonites Fossile Madagascar Jurrassic Nautilus Ammoniten C1756+ Inch Long Megalodon Shark Tooth Teeth Fossil *nice*Rare Eurypterid Sea Scorpion - Trilobite AgeWow Lot 4 Rare Nautilus Nautile Fossil Jurrassic Ammonite Stone Madagascar C157Australian Opal Fossil Clam Shell Nice Fire!Antique Sawtooth Shark Bill 30" Very Old & Rare Sawfish Rostrum Very Large Polished Arizona Petrified Wood Round-araucariaFine Complete Pradoella Tazzarinensis Trilobite: Ordovician; Ktoua Fm. MoroccoSharp 3 13/16" Megalodon Shark Tooth Teeth Extinct Jaw Fossil Megladon Wow ! 160mm Geode Ammonites Fossile Madagascar Jurrassic Nautilus Ammoniten C176Mastodon Fossil Tooth Monster - Over 3 & 1/16 In.  great White Shark Tooth - No Reserve!Hell Creek Dinosaur Fossils 9 Triceratops Horridus Tooth Crowns4.6" Polished Goniatite Ammonite Fossil - MoroccoFossil Triceratops Dinosaur (horridus) Horn And Tooth From The Lance FormationHell Creek Dinosaur Fossil Tyrannosaurus T Rex Theropod ToothMegalodon Shark Tooth Teeth Fossil Dinosaur 5 &2/16 " - 130mmHell Creek Dinosaur Fossil Hadrosaur Edmontosaurus Tail VertebraMegalodon Fossil Giant Shark Teeth All Natural Large 4.25" Huge Unique Tooth4794r Single Cut Ammonite Crystal Large 5.5" One Half Only Dinosaur Fossil 138mmXl 130mm Ammonite Fougere Fren Fossil Jurrassic Nautilus Stone Madagascar C180Rare Old Amber Carving Chinese Tradition 12 Zodiac Delicate Ball Statue & ShelfHell Creek Dinosaur Fossils 5 Unerupted Triceratops Horridus TeethPerfect Kendallina Sp. Trilobite, Late Cambrian, Canada2.8" Hollardops Trilobite Fossil On Matrix - Morocco Nearly 6 Inch Megalodon Shark Tooth FossilRare Ediacaran Pseudorhizostomites Howchini : Vendian Of White Sea, Russia Asaphus Kowalewskii, Amazing Trilobite With Long Periscope EyesTyrannosaurus Dinosaur Skull Museum Model Replica Size 15.5x8.5x11.5cm 3 1/8 " Diamond Polished Megalodon Shark Tooth Teeth Jaw Fossil Megladon Big, Serrated 5 1/4'' Megalodon Tooth, Very Nice!! /fossil Sharks TeethNew Fossil Dinosaur Anseromimus Egg Mongolia Fossile Dinosaure Oeuf FossilienMegalodon Fossil Giant Shark Teeth All Natural Large 4.69" Huge Beautiful ToothTop 1%  * Museum Grade * Megalodon Shark ToothFine Complete Dickinsonia Menneri: Vendian Of White Sea, Russia5 7/16+ Inch Very Large Lower Jaw Megalodon Shark Tooth Teeth Fossil *nice*91g High Quality Natural Poilished Jade Pattern Ammonite Fossil Madagascar 1#