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 it, 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!

Steve

Webmaster

Fossils-in-the-rocks.com

Crinoids

Crinoids

Modern day crinoid from Wikipedia.com

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 ft.  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 on the planet. 

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 is 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

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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 picturespictures 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 picturespictures of petrified wood, petrified wood picturespictures 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 picturespictures of petrified wood, petrified wood picturespictures 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!

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Trilobites

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.  

what is a trilobite

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

 

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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

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 Amazon.com.  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!

 

 

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