The most common method of how fossils formed is once an animal or plant dies, it falls to the ground, and is covered by sediment. This is often sediments brought from water. Of the vast amount of prehistoric life that died, it is only a tiny amount that has survived the fossilisation process. The conditions when the majority of life died were just not right at that time, to preserve them.
Fossils can be found in many places, most fossils are found on the beach or in quarries but many have been found in some very unusual places. Below is a list of places that you could find fossils. Please note some places such as quarries and farm fields need permission before you can enter, other places where fossils form part of the construction such as sea defences and walls, should not even be attempted. Damaging other peoples property is not only illegal, but morally wrong.
The word Fossil used to be defined as ‘something dug up’. Now-a-days it generally means ‘The remains or trace evidence of prehistoric life’. The study of fossils is called palaeontology; someone who collects and studies them is called a palaeontologists. Fossils can be as tiny as a grain of pollen or a seed for e.g. or as huge as a limb bone from a giant dinosaur. For animal or plant remains to have become ‘fossilised ‘, they must go through a certain process that preserves them for up to millions of years after they have died. Usually it is only the hard parts of plants and animals that survive this long process.
When fossil collecting, you will need the correct equipment. Often, each location will differ and of course depending on the weather and time of the year, you will also need to consider the correct clothing.If you are collecting in a quarry, there are important health and safety requirements by law. These are that you must wear a hard-hat, high visibility jacket and steel-toe-cap boots. This guide explains the recommended equipment you should take, both for your own safety and also the tools you might need.
When different types of fossils are talked or written about, they are often given complicated Latin names, such as Dactylioceras commune, Neohibolites minimus and Stigmaria ficoides. These names can sound a bit daunting and you […]
What is stratigraphy? The word ‘stratigraphy’ is used to describe the study of rock layers or strata. The most fundamental principals employed within this discipline are: The law of superposition, which states that, within any […]
Ammonites (Ammonitida) were shelled cephalopod molluscs that lived throughout the world’s oceans during the Mesozoic (Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods) and they were an extremely successful order, as evidenced by the frequency with which their […]
Ostracods are small, shelled crustaceans that are still living today. Their fossil record stretches back into the Cambrian period. These little animals range in size from below a millimetre to a few centimetres, but most […]
There are two common questions by beginners and enthusiasts: “I’m new to fossil collecting, where can I collect?” and “I’ve found a fossil, what is it?” I’m blessed with owning SS Buckman’s Type Ammonites – […]
Belemnites (Belemnitida) were squid-like animals belonging to the cephalopod class of the mollusc phylum, and therefore related to ammonites of old, as well as to modern squids, octopuses and nautiluses. Now extinct, their fossils are […]
When different types of fossils are talked or written about, they are often given complicated Latin names such as ‘Dactylioceras commune’, ‘Neohibolites minimus’ and ‘Stigmaria ficoides’. These names can sound a bit daunting and you […]
Foraminifera (forams) are single celled organisms belonging to the Protista kingdom. Their fossils have been found in rocks from the Cambrian period onwards, and they are still living and abundant today. Forams generally inhabit marine […]
Flint meal is a rich source of siliceous microfossils. The material is often packed with sponge spicules, as well as foraminifera and ostracods. To collect flint meal unweathered, fresh flints recently eroded out of chalk […]
At UK Fossils, we receive hundreds of photos of fossils every month and, although we try our hardest to identify each and every find, most photos we receive are so blurred or contain no scale, […]
Microfossils can be obtained from the Grey Chalk Subgroup (formerly the Lower Chalk, minus the Plenus Marls) with great ease. This rock has a high clay content in comparison with the whiter chalks and breaks […]
Labelling and coding your collection is vital. Too often, museums acquire private collections and struggle to find data about each find. Basic information, such as the exact location, zone and formation are essential, together with […]