An Invitation To Participate!

I notice you’ve found my website, Fossils In The Rocks.

And it’s in the early stages of becoming a website, it’s only an infant. Per legal and contractual requirements, I have to reveal to you that I can make a commission off of the advertisements on this website. In other words, my Disclaimer.

I put together a website for my hobby, I feature advertisements for products or services on the posts and pages. You come along, read my posts and see a product you like, you go to that link and buy the product. I get a little commission. It’s called affiliate marketing.

With Amazon, my main source for items to advertise, I get around 6%. Amazon is not the only game in town. Other affiliate programs abound. That’s one of the ways internet commerce works.

It’s how I pay for my websites, which I have several. In fact a couple of those sites deal with how to make an income online! That’s another hobby of mine, helping other people make an income online.

That’s just how I am, in real life and on the internet, I love helping people. Whether it’s putting in a new water heater for one of my best friends’ sister, or helping my neighbor across the street with his tile job, I love helping people. And that, my friend, is why this is an invite!

An Invitation to Participate.

I want to invite you to a business that I happen to love, I immerse myself in, I wake up at three in the morning thinking how to be better at it. I invite you to become an affiliate marketer just like I am. To work at replacing that J.O.B. you go to every day, you know, the one that takes your time away from your spouse, your kids, and the family dog (or cat). What is it? Here is an explanation of what Affiliate Marketing is all about.

*** What is Affiliate Marketing and How Does It Work?***

How much education on websites did I have when I started it? Not a heck of a lot, in fact, none. But I found a company that does awesome training and I signed up with them, they offer free training. And they offer a community of fellow Affiliate Marketers that have produced so much free training, you’ll literally NEVER run out of training. Here is an article that explains how that works.

*** A Review of Wealthy Affiliate, Is It a Dead End?***

What are you going to use as a niche? Whatever your hobby is! Whether it’s fossils, (you can use some of my ideas here if you like), or dogs, or cats, or even how to make an income online, or whatever you can imagine, you’ll be able to create a website around it. And you’ll be able to have fun at something you enjoy, while making an income from it.

The best of both worlds. One person created a whole website business from a colic remedy for babies, she was a young mother, her baby had trouble with it so she was passionate about helping other young mothers with it. One guy had a passion for golf so he created a great golf site. Here is a post on choosing a niche.

***How To Choose A Niche***

These sites I am directing you to are my sites. You don’t have to worry about being charged for just reading them, so you can relax and enjoy them.  Now, lest I bore you with all of this, just remember, if you like what you see here and would like to start your own money-making website, here is an invitation to be a part of that.

And there is plenty of information to be had! Please enjoy my Fossils website, it’s in the making, and if you want to try making your own money making website, I personally invite you to join me! So have at it!

***The Beginner’s Guide To Affiliate Marketing For 2020.***

Please feel free to leave me a comment below, I do love comments and I’ll even answer you back! So if you have questions or would just like to chat, this is the place to start!



The Best Hiking Boots For Men 2019

If you’ve ever been on the 14 mile round trip all day hike of Long’s Peak in Colorado, you know the value of good hiking boots. That boulder field before you get to the keyhole can be BRUTAL on the feet and ankles.

Then on the back side at the last approach, you need traction, as trickling water one day can be a sheet of ice on the next, even in Summer. You need something waterproof and you need something impervious to the cold, but not smothering while at the warmer lower altitudes.

Here are the five best hiking boot picks on my list.

All of these boots are high-cut varieties except for the Salewa, as this would give the hiker the best support on the ankle. I included the Salewa mid-cut because any post about best hiking boots better include Salewa. I have positioned them lowest to highest in price, but higher price does not necessarily mean higher quality, as you will discover.

Timberland Men’s Euro Hiker Boot

best hiking boots for men 2019
Click on the image to go shopping.

Price:$76.66 – $215.73
Construction: 100% leather upper, rubber sole
Weight per shoe: 21 oz
Best use: backpacking
Best Feature: Good price for an inexpensive hiking boot.
Waterproof: No
Amazon Rating: #127 in Men’s Hiking Boots

La Sportiva Trango TRK GTX

best hiking boots for men 2019
Click on the image to go shopping

Price: $176.00 – $225.50
Construction: 70% leather, 20% fabric, 10% rubber
Weight Per Shoe: 20.2 oz
Ideal usage: Hiking Shoe
Best Feature: 3D Flex insert for excellent ankle mobility
Gore-Tex: Yes
Waterproof: Yes
Amazon Rating: #990 in Men’s Biking boots.

Salomon Men’s Quest 4d 3 GTX Backpacking Boots

best hiking boots for men 2019
Click on the image to go shopping

Price: $191.18 – $321.10
Contruction: Leather and synthetic upper, rubber sole
Weight Per Shoe: 22.6 oz
Ideal Usage: Backpacking
Best Feature: Premium Wet Traction Contragrip. (Brand designation)
Waterproof: Designated as weatherproof
Amazon Rating: #39 in men’s hiking boots

Salewa Mountain Trainer Mid Gore-TEX Boots Mens

best hiking boots for men 2019
Click on the image to go shopping

Price: $207.79 – $540.30
Construction: Leather, Fabric, Rubber Sole
Weight Per Shoe: 23.6 oz
Ideal Usage: Mountaineering, Alpine, and Glacier Hiking.
Best Feature: Interchangeable Footbeds
Waterproof: Yes
Amazon Rating: #291 in Mens Hiking Boots

Scarpa Men’s Zodiac Plus Gtx Hiking Boot

best hiking boots for men 2019
Click on the image to go shopping

Price: $250-$269
Construction: 100% textile and leather, rubber soles
Weight Per Shoe: 19.2
Ideal Usage: Backpacking
Best Feature: Sock-Fit DV construction reduces bulk and creates a snug fit
Waterproof: Yes
Amazon Rating: #288 in Men’s Hiking Boots.

There you have it! Fossils In The Rocks’ choices for the best men’s hiking boots for 2019, these boots also have women’s sizes and colors available. Let me know what you purchased and how you liked them below! AND definitely let me what fossils you picked up during your hike!


Up next, I dig up what the best hiking boots brands are!

Men’s hiking boots on sale.

Looking for a good deal on hiking boots?

You’re stomping around out there looking for fossils, in and out of rocky arroyos and over the tops of snake infested mesas. You’re not quite an Indiana Jones, but in your own mind you’re an explorer to the tenth degree.

You need a boot that not only offers good ankle support but needs to be comfortable throughout the day. Here are some great deals on hiking boots for men. And keep checking back, you may find other deals later!

Columbia has a nice lower priced model known as the Columbia Mens Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof Hiking Boot.

men hiking boot sale
Click on the boot to shop for your size and color.

This is a low top boot, more for use in the drier areas during the summertime, some of the size/color options start at $59 which is a great price for boots that can run as high as $323 for the most expensive Nori/Dark Banana color, although this author doesn’t see the need for that kind of price. This boot has an average rating of 4.5 stars with 2358 reviews.

Next up, Timberland Men’s White Ledge Mid Waterproof Ankle Boot. A little better quality, the less expensive ones run about $74, and go up from there to about $141. The Timberland Brand is rated overall a little higher than the Columbia Brand.

men hiking boots sale
Click on the boot to shop for your size and color.

This is another low top boot, and is also waterproof, the wheat color runs about $99 as shown. This boot has a rating of 4.5 out of 9166 reviews.

Here is a link to the next post, covering the best hiking boots for men!

The Best Hiking Boots For Men in 2019

Hope you enjoyed the post and when you’ve found the boots for you, come back, give me a review on the boots you snagged, so we can pass it on to fellow hikers! Good luck finding fossils!

Men's and women's sizes available!


The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs, A Book Review

Dinosaurs… The largest animals to ever inhabit dry land in the history of Earth.

rise and fall of the dinosaurs review

How did they get that big, how did they keep warm, how did they even breathe enough oxygen to become that large? 

After reading a provocatively informative article about a new paleontology book on dinosaurs, my interest was piqued by yet another addition to the Jurassic Park Dinosaur Genre.  Except this one is filled with informative theories of how the dinosaurs actually lived instead of modern-day fiction.

 The book is called The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs, A New History of a Lost World, By Steve Brusatte.  I know, LONG title, but it pretty much explains what the book is all about.

The author of this extraordinary work is a new inductee into the Paleontology Elite crew which consists of none other than the giants of the discipline, Robert Bakker, and Jack Horner, to name a few.

And I apologize for leaving all the rest of the paleontologists out as all have contributed much to the knowledge we have on the subject.

This is the layman’s explanation of what we know today as opposed to what we thought we knew even as little as 10 years ago, of the dinosaurs.  This is not a textbook, this is a very down to earth, easy to read, interpretation.  This is an expert’s view of the evolution of the dinosaurs, from the rat-sized little proto-dinos of the middle Triassic to the largest land-dwelling creatures ever to exist on our planet.

If only there were creatures this big on some of the earth-like planets we’ve discovered, we’d know in quick shorthand that we’re not alone in the universe.

rise and fall of the dinosaurs review

In recent years, paleontologists have made some incredible finds in the rocks around the world, including such remote sites as The Gobi Desert in China, and the high plains of South America.  These recent discoveries have revealed some amazing facts about where and when dinosaurs originated 265 million years ago, and in turn, allowed monumental assumptions about how they lived, breathed, and died.

Mr. Brusatte’s main argument is that everything we thought we knew of dinosaurs and how they interacted with their world is nowhere near what the facts have revealed.

Through his research of collecting and revisitation of the existing fossils, he’s come up with a very accurate definition of dinosaur existence.  He deftly explains how the dinosaurs did not dominate early on in their career, that they were living on the sidelines for many millions of years.

The transition from small cat-sized creatures to the thundering behemoths they evolved into took effort, time, and opportunity.  rise and fall of the dinosaurs review

He also reveals the assumption of dumb, evolutionarily dead-end brutes was also totally opposite of the truth.  To read this book is to take a tour through the 200 million year “Age of the Dinosaurs.”

From the middle of the Triassic, during which proto-dinosaurs weren’t anything to bet on in the great horserace of evolution to even get to the finish line, Brusatte takes us to the dawn of the Jurassic when those proto-dinos rose up on hind legs and began to inhabit the higher niches left when most of the larger reptilians of the Triassic went extinct.

Finally, he takes us into the middle and later Jurassic when the largest land animals to ever live on the Earth ruled the planet from the top of the food chain as no other animal did before or after.

Brusatte takes the reader through the life and times of T-Rex like no other author has been able to.  Theories abound and as new specimens are unearthed, theories fall, and other theories are contrived to fit the facts.  This theory makes the puzzle all come together.

Then Brusatte takes the reader right up to that fateful day 66 million years ago when all dinosaurs perished save the fledgling few bird lineages that were small enough and mobile enough to survive.

This single event opened the way for mammals to ascend the food chain hierarchy, and ultimately to a two-legged creature who rules the earth not from sheer brute strength, but through intelligence.

Brusatte takes the perspective of dinosaurs that has been taught to gradeschool kids for a hundred years and upends it like a small slab of fossil laden sedimentary rock.  rise and fall of the dinosaurs review

This book opened my eyes to a stimulating view of these great and terrible beasts that really does sort out the frays at the edge of our understanding.  It excites the imagination in finding out that even the nightmarish Thunder Lizard itself probably hunted in packs and cared for it’s young.

It strengthens the knowledge that we are but a speed bump in the long and populace highway in the evolution of life on our planet.

This book is full of impressive descriptions of each step in time, illustrating what the dinosaurs looked like and who they were competing against for resources.

Those steps in time aren’t days or weeks, they are millions of years per step, as dinosaurs were some of the most successful species on the planet, participating and then dominating the Earth for 200 million years.

Brusatte looks at the information from a larger perspective than anyone previously, and makes incredibly astute theories on how these creatures survived, from a truly unique position.

If you are at all enthralled with the “thunder lizards”, you watched Jurassic Park in awe, dreamed of dinosaurs when you were a young’un, or wondered how such a monstrous creature could inhabit this earth, then this book is a must read for you.

Find out now how these magnificent animals lived and died, click on the book and purchase your copy.   I purchased the hardback copy as I want to read it again and again, so will you!

The Rise And Fall Of The Dinosaurs, By Steve Brusatte



Modern day crinoid from

What are they? Crinoids (Pronounced CRY-noids) are animals that live in the ocean and, like their cousins, the starfish, have fivefold symmetry. In the juvenile form they swim around, and then in adult form if they have stalks, they will attach themselves to the ocean and only move if disturbed. 

If the adult forms do not have stalks, they will stay mobile in the water column the rest of their lives.  The adults who do have stalks are known as sea lilies, while the mobile ones are known as feather stars. 

They live as deep as 30,000 feet under the surface of the ocean.  The water pressure at thirty thousand feet is a whopping 13,000 ft per square inch.  That’s a lotta pressure.

The crinoids we’re concerned with are the ones preserved in the fossil record. 

Partial Crinoid segments and Calyx.

When did they appear on the planet?  There was a strongly suspected ancestor of the crinoids in the burgess shale deposit of Canada, which would make the lineage about 508 million years old. 

However, around 485 million years ago the unmistakable proof of crinoids definitely arrived on the scene, leaving the fossils we find today. 

What does 485 million years look like in geologic time?  If one takes the thickness of a penny as the time civilized humans have been recording history, approximately 10,000 years, then a million years would be about 5 3/4 of an inch.  485 million years would be 232.5 feet of pennies stacked together.  ALMOST a full football field of pennies stacked together. 

Crinoid fossil parts with dollar coin for size.

The Mississippian fossil record has an abundance of crinoids, however nowadays they are comparatively rare.  The longest crinoid fossil stalk ever discovered was 130 ft long. 

Another view, partial Crinoid segments and Calyx.

Within the two major types of crinoid, the sea lily and the feather star, there are approximately 35 different families left in existence.

Stem sections of Crinoids.

Crinoids are the state fossil in Missouri and are the proposed state fossil in Indiana.  Both states are good places to watch for them, as well as any state along the major rivers of the American Mid-west, including the Mississippi, Missouri, Osage, and Tennessee, among others.

Crinoid sections from Table Rock Lake, Missouri





Petrified wood

Petrified wood

Petrified wood can be found all over the planet. For instance large forests existed 225 million years ago in what is now Arizona.  The Petrified Forest exhibit in Holbrook, Arizona, allows visitors to see lots of genuine petrified wood.  You can go to their website from here:  Arizona Petrified Forest.

Colorado has petrified wood scattered in several areas, especially all along the front range.  Here are a few petrified wood pictures of collected specimens.

pictures of petrified wood, petrified wood pictures
Small piece of petrified wood showing the woodgrain.

Here we have a very small specimen about 2 inches lengthwise.

The grain of the wood is readily identifiable, this particular piece was polished in order to see the grain better.  This is a specimen that was found in gravels on a rooftop.    The gravels originated in Colorado so presumably the wood originated in what is now Colorado.

Incidentally, searching in gravels sometimes reveals incredible specimens of petrified wood as well as mollusks and bivalves.

pictures of petrified wood, petrified wood pictures pictures of petrified wood, petrified wood pictures

Here we see a specimen from a field south of Franktown, Colorado.

10 Million years ago a huge volcano erupted in the mountains west of Colorado Springs, and covered a large portion of Colorado to the east with ash.   This included forested land east of the mountains.

For more information and to see some of the huge trees that were covered as well as some of the best preserved insects ever found, see their website here: Florissant Fossil Museumor visit the Florissant Fossil Museum in Florissant, Colorado.

pictures of petrified wood, petrified wood pictures pictures of petrified wood, petrified wood pictures pictures of petrified wood, petrified wood pictures

This specimen also came from the volcano ashfall.

It was collected northeast of Colorado Springs, zooming in on the lower image shows the grain in the wood.  Zooming in on the second image show the curvature of the original wood as well as the wood grain.

pictures of petrified wood, petrified wood pictures pictures of petrified wood, petrified wood pictures pictures of petrified wood, petrified wood pictures

This set of book ends came from the Arizona Petrified Forest

These were professionally prepared for sale from one of the local rock shops of the area.

For a great kids science kit of fossils, Amazon offers this item from the boys over at Dancing Bear:

Dancing Bear Fossil Collection Set, 15 Real Specimens: Trilobite, Ammonite, Fish Fossil, Shark Tooth, Petrified Wood, Dinosaur Bone, Fossil Book, Time Scale, ID Cards, Magnifying Glass, Science Kit.  The Quarter isn’t included!

Crafting hobbyists, here is where you can get petrified wood for jewelry, polishing or other crafts from Amazon:

Fantasia Materials: 1 lb Petrified Wood Rough – (Select 1 to 18 lbs) – Raw Natural Crystals for Cabbing, Cutting, Lapidary, Tumbling, Polishing, Wire Wrapping, Wicca and Reiki Crystal Healing

Leave us a comment, tell us if you enjoyed our little adventure into PETRIFIED WOOD!













Fossil Name: Trilobite

Time: 540 MYA to 250 MYA

What is a Trilobite anyway? Trilobites were a form of arthropod that lived from about 520 MYA (Million Years Ago) to 250 MYA.  Trilobites were so named because of the three lobed body they sported.

Trilobites are the official state fossil of three different U.S. states, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.  California’s state fossil is Nancy Pelosi.

what is a trilobite
Approx 520 million year old trilobites found in Utah.

20,000+ different trilobite species existed.  

One of everyone’s favorite fossils, trilobites were running around the planet for close to 300 million years, their fossils have been discovered on every continent, and they lived in the water although not all were able to swim.

The fossils shown were picked up in Utah near a Native American sacred mountain in the interior of the state. This is one plate with several different species and sizes of fossils.  Native Americans wore trilobites as amulets and believed they had special powers.

Trilobites were arthropods, which means they covered themselves with a carapace similar to the insects and were related to what is now the family of insects, arachnids, and crustaceans.  Trilobites ranged from specimens less than a 1/10 of an inch, for instance the agnostida, to a whopping 28 inches long by the name of Isotelus Rex!

what is a trilobite
Partial trilobite from Morocco, approximately 450 million years old.

This trilobite came from Morocco, and is approximately 450 million years old.  Trilobites hit the end of their reign about 250 million years ago during the Permian extinction event.  This event extinguished nearly 90% of all life on the planet, fortunately our ancestors, along with the ancestors of the dinosaurs, survived.

what is a trilobite

Another trilobite specimen here is the Phacops Flexicalamene, from ohio, shown in the curled position..

Sometimes you find many fossils that have been washed out of the rock, only to end up as a pile of rubble at the bottom of wherever you are searching.

what is a trilobite















My First Fossil

Many years ago, I was four wheeling in Rifle, Colorado in an old (even then) ’72 Jeep Wagoneer I’d bought from my dad.

My Dear Old Dad, who owned that old Wagoneer before I did!

I happened to be going up a fairly steep incline to the north west of town when I decided I would pull over and check out the shale that was scattered abundantly on the higher side of the road, as the other side was an 80 foot cliff to the next switch back of the road I was on.  One particular piece of rock looked like two layers stuck together with one layer missing a small edge.

That shale before I took a chisel to it.

The other edge had a dark leaf looking area sticking out so I took a  hammer and chisel and attempted to separate the two halves and behold, the split revealed a small leaf, I had found an actual fossil.

I was ecstatic!  I had found evidence of past life, who knew how old the shale was, or what type of leaf I’d found, what mattered was the fact I had all of a sudden entered a hobby that would consume my every spare moment for years to come.

After it was split open.
A closeup of the leaf

Since then I have collected in 38 of the 50 US States, I have found fossils on beaches to mountain tops. I have found 200 million year old crinoids to 450 million year old trilobites. I have found 10 million year old wood. I’ve even found fossils in the pebbles we use in landscaping.

Fossil preservation and preparation

The fossils we collectors gather have been buried in the rock for hundreds of thousands of years to millennia.

When we’re lucky to find one, it’s invariably been exposed for a short time, and we’re not speaking of geological time we’re speaking of months or years.

real fossil preparation

So we collect them and thereby become stewards of the past.  With that stewardship comes the responsibility of fossil preservation for each specimen.  If the fossil is of softer material, care must be taken to prevent damage when preserving.

Fossil Preparation

The first item of business would be to collect a tool kit.

You will need:

    • a small hammer,
    • a few different sized pointed chisels and
    • a couple of soft bristled brushes.

There are kits you can buy, or you can assemble your tool kit from several sources.

real fossil preparation

Next is to carefully clear all excess material off of the fossil, using a small pointed chisel and a hammer.

Carefully chip away at the excess  material above the fossil with the small chisel using light tapping with the hammer.  Using your soft brush remove loose dust and dirt to uncover the fossil.

Using a little water can also be helpful as the surrounding material sometimes softens up with extra moisture.

Then use the brush to continue to clean the material from the finer features of the fossil.   Patience is a virtue when cleaning a fossil, so take your time.

Fossil Preservation

Once the fossil is uncovered, a good way for preservation is with an Elmer’s Glue and water solution.  One part glue and 5 parts water is a good start with a couple of capfuls of  rubbing alcohol for penetration.

Try this on a piece of the strata that has no fossil material in it to make sure of compatibility.

Once the fossil is clean and visible, a light spritz of the glue and water solution should protect it from the elements.

Of course there are electric and compressed air, fine pointed, power tools to assist in the cleaning.  Some not only clean the excess off but also supply a stream of air during processing to blow away the excess, allowing better visibility of the fossil during operations.

A good place to shop for a book on fossil identification might be  They have several that are available.

Good luck, leave me a comment of your success, or your fossil stories or just let me know how to improve the site!