Finding Fossils

img_9427FIRST: I have no formal training in paleontology or geology…Feel free to send me comments and/or corrections.

SECOND: A Special thanks to…Lisa Nicely at The Crescent-News  for her article, “Can you dig it?” and LaFarge  for their contribution by providing access to fossils at their Fossil Garden site.

MY STORY: I have just returned from my first fossil hunt and there WILL be many more…

WHAT: A Fossil Garden? Yep, LaFarge Quarry has fenced off a section of land where they dump sedimentary rock for fossil hunters. It is later replaced with “fresh” rock for those that want to continue searching. It’s free! You simply search and take the fossils you find. They only want you to sign a waver to keep everything legal and naturally, you are expected to behave.

WHERE: The corner of County Road 180 and 87 about 7 miles northwest of Paulding, Ohio.

Sunrise at the Paulding County Community Fossil Garden



Not kidding, this was the FIRST rock I picked up and whacked with a hammer! Guess = Brachiopod = Lampshell (Looks like clam shells.)

img_9413LaFarge dumps the rock and pushes it out with a bulldozer. Each “path” looks like a road for a tank demonstration…(See my car way back there?)

You walk around over the rocks and keep your eyes open. Which is tricky! The rocks are VERY hard to walk over. I discovered it was easier to carefully watch my steps, stop, then look around. (This is NOT like hunting for arrow heads!)


See two things in this large rock?    Look close…
img_9422Another Brachiopod(Lampshell)

img_9425I first thought this was a “Geode” Um, no….It’s a recrystallized fossil…(I did some searching online)….

recrystallized-fossil The complex details are in the link. The short version is, the hollow body of the dead fills with minerals which then crystallize. So go back and look at mine. I see a brachiopod in cross section with crystals for guts.

img_9418Can’t be bones…wrong time period….”plant” maybe?

What time period? The Devonian ~ 400 Million years ago! (The Crescent-News)

Tools for your “walk” back in time….WAY BACK!

  1. GOOD hiking shoes.
  2. Hammer and eye protection.
  3. Knee pads(really wish that I remembered mine.)
  4. Bucket…pretty soon you will have an arm full of big rocks.
  5. Camera…some fossils are in huge rocks. I took pics and left them for others to see.
  6. GLOVES!!!! (Yes, I WAS wearing them…OUCH!)img_9428I have lots of samples and photos, but they all look the same after a while…

img_9426The “big” find for today…

A special thanks goes to the person who last used the porta potty…

Next to the seat, you left this….

img_9432I freaked out and laughed thinking this was reptile skin!

Up close….

img_9437WOW! RIGHT?


rhombopora-1Close up…


The Genus name of my “reptile skin” is Rhombopora in the Phylum Bryozoa….

“Bryozoans are some of the most abundant fossils in the world. They are also widespread today,…. Bryozoans are small animals (just large enough to be seen with the naked eye) that live exclusively in colonies. ”

In English….It’s “coral”!

Don’t care! It’s the best find and story of the day!






About Mike

Retired science teacher that is learning to blog...

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