once you find a fossil

What to do once you find a fossil

How to find fossils...

Extracting from stone

Extracting from sand

Basic tools


In Stone

Excavating from stone

A Find the fossil and look at it, see which way the covered piece of the fossil is pointing

B Start cutting away at the top and at the sides of the fossil. With the large chisel when the fossil is well below were you are working, and then use the small chisel when you get closer to the fossil. Use the screwdriver and then the dental pick to get really close to the fossil. Use the paintbrush to make sure you can see what you are doing. While you are doing this cover the end of the fossil with some newspaper or something to protect it from falling pieces of rock. Keep digging until the whole topside of the fossil is visible. Put some wood glue on as soon as you have finished the topside.

CStart cutting away from the bottom, be very careful, as there may be something even better below!Do the same as the topside only starting below the fossil this time. Apply the wood glue then remove the fossil carefully putting it on some newspaper. Wrap the fossil tightly in the newspaper and put it in the packsack and keep it out of the sun.

In Sandstone

excavating in sandstone

A Take a good close look at the fossil make sure to note the location of all the pieces of fossil, so that later you can reassemble it in the correct order. Remember that fossils in sandstone are not always in good condition. Although they may be easer to get at they are much harder to get out in one piece.

BAs a rule any fossil, in loose sand or rock, must be approached from the top. If you try excavating for the bottom the fossil will fall out. Before you start digging cover the fossils with some thing to protect them. Use the shovel first to get started then as you get closer to the fossil use the screwdriver and the paintbrush. For the really fine work use the dental pick. As soon as the fossil is completely visible cover it with the wood glue. The wood glue acts as the rock around the fossil after it has been removed from the rock. The glue prevents the fossil from expanding and cracking from the sudden drop in pressure and change in humidity and temperature.

The first thing you will need

before you excavate anything will be Tools and some basic essentials.
There are a few basic packs you should take for different environments.

If the fossils are in solid rock.

1. A good pack sack to carry the removed fossil.
2. Newspaper is used to wrap and protect the fossil after it has been removed.
3. Note books and pens are a good thing to bring along, as you can make notes of were you found the fossil, it condition and its basic shape this can then be used later to give some information to help classify the fossil later. This white wood glue is great because it dissolves in water so if you need to reassemble or if you mess-up you can soak the fossil and try again!
4. A hammer and a large and small cold chisel are used to remove fossils from the rock.
5. A steel prying bar may come in handy.
6. A screwdriver, dentist pick and a paintbrush can be used to do fine work and brush away dust from the site.
7. Plaster may be handy if you want make a mould of the fossil.
8. Aquadhere wood glue is good for protecting the fossil as it comes out of the rock. The glue holds all the little bits on the fossil.
9. A map (detailed topographic or geological), compass, magnifying lens (5-10 power).



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