Monthly Archives: August 2006

Baculite Mesa

Baculite Mesa near Pueblo, Colorado is just the place for easy finding of the remains of ancient sea life. The fossil-loaded location was easy to find, easy to get to, and, most importantly, easy for picking up lots of baculites. Being novice rock-hounders, a spot where the fossils reveal themselves with little effort inspires us to keep up the search.

The baculite is a now-extinct sea creature that lived in many areas around the world during the late Cretaceous Period. It was a mollusk belonging to the class Cephalopoda and had tentacles that grew out of its head. (cephalo: “head” + poda: “feet”) This ammonite had the typical curled shell in its early life. When it grew older the shell straightened out.

It wasn’t more than a minute or two into our walk when Doug spotted his first baculite laying in the wash alongside the road! The guide book had said the baculites were easy to find, but this was amazing!

Read the whole adventure of Baculite Mesa

Tunneling Trilobites

Trilobites, the extinct marine creatures famous to fossil-hunters everywhere, may have once done digging of their own, say British and Swedish researchers.

Rocks found in a Swedish limestone quarry contain the remains of trilobites inside networks of tunnels, which appear to have been sub-surface thoroughfares for the little bug-like critters.

Read more here

To Be A Fossil

I read a great story the other day. I would like to share it with you.

My nine year old grandchild told me she wants to become a fossil. I looked t her and asked her if she wants to have a fossil watch. No…she meant that she wants to be a fossil when she dies.

I told her that many things have to happen if she is to become a fossil. It would be no good for her to die in a granite pile and only 15% of rocks can preserve fossils. I suggested she get on the internet and find out as much as possible between now and her death so she knows where to die.

Two hours later and 42 cases of new spyware on my laptop later she came and asked me what sediment was. She intends to be laying in sediment when she dies. That way she would leave an impression. I told her that nobody would find her fossil remains for hopefully tens of millions and maybe hundreds of millions of years later. Of course she really does not have a concept of a million.

So today I took a break with her and we studied fossils. We found out that 99.9% of all living things compost down to nothingness. I looked at her sparkling eyes and told her that when her spark is gone she will be nibbled off or sluiced away to become part of some other system. She asked if I was sure and I reassurred her that I was correct. Even if she makes it into the small pool of organisms; she has a less than 0.1% chance of being fossilized. She would be devoured by other organisms.

At the end of the conversation she decided to be a dancer instead. After that she would write a book that the people could read in a million years. I thought that was a swell idea and asked her what her book will be about. It will be about dancing, her dog and fossils.

So in a million years or even 20 years when you see a book about a little dancing girl with a dog who wants to be a fossil, please buy it.
Over and out! See you all tomorrow…

Fossils In Colorado

This weekend we stopped a few places along route 160 between Walsenburg and Ft. Garland, CO in Costilla County. The layers of time demonstrated the
turmoil and upheaval that had displaced the ancient sea beds. Our book noted the types of fossils we might find…brachiopods, coral and gastropods-even pointing us to the layer in which to look.

It was no easy feat to climb to the layer… the Madera Shale breaks off in tiny, sharp-edged pieces that had piled up so thick over the years that it was like climbing a prickley sand dune. the tracks of previous hunters showed us a good place to begin our search.

Hanging onto the side, our eyes combed the surface for a trace of some ancient animal. there were a few bits and pieces here and there.
Remembering the volumes of fossils my Ohio homeland rocks contained, I was more than a little disappointed.

And then I spotted something…it just might be the characteristic grooves of a shell. The color was pale compared to the grey shale and it could be just a shard of the original animal, but my spirit lifted. I beckoned my husband to bring the rock hammer.

Ever so carefully, we worked to remove the rock that might hold a treasure. It would be tragic if we were responsible for the demise of a fragile remnant. We didn’t want to ruin the fragment we could see or any part of something that might be hidden below the surface. when we finally manged to pull the rock from the shale it was a near perfect Mucrospirifer Brachiopod.

My heart soared. We’d found an almost entire brachiopod and although it was small, it was beautiful. More importantly, it had shown itself to me. We found other bits and pieces that day, but it was this little guy that felt like a special gift. It had lain there all those millions of years, it had survived the violent earth changes that lifted its layer to a near vertical position, it had gradually weathered its way to the surface and quietly waited for my eyes to find it. And finally, it had been a wonderous moment shared with my special someone as we awaited its birth from the earth.

A long Time Comming

We have finally gotten www.fossilicious.com up and running on it’s new server. There are still some links to the old site out there on the web but the major search engines have picked up the change and take you to the new site. We still have a few minor bugs to work out so please is you have any problems with the site let us know and we will get them fixed.

The title “A long Time Comming” is more appropriate than you might think. It has been over a year since embarking on the road to change servers. We searched and researched many different shopping carts, merchant accounts, and web hosts looking for the right combination of speed, ease of use for our customers, and search engine friendliness. It has been worth it. The new site is fast,clean, and easy to use both for customers and ourselves. There are new products, articles, and features that were not available on the old site.

Check it out and let us know what you think.

Fossilicious Is Getting A New Home

We are in the process of changing servers for www.fossilicious.com
The new Fossilicious will be faster, more user friendly, and have features that we were not able to provide with our old hosting company.

Just so you will know, the old site has a blue header and menu bar. The new site has a green border.

Should you experience any difficulties during the next few days please try again or leave a comment here.

Contin-tail Gem and Mineral Show

If you’re interested in fossils, minerals, gems, or just plain ‘ol earth science education you might want to mark your calendar for the 2007 Contin-Tail (short for Continental Tailgate) Gem and Mineral Show. You couldn’t ask for a more beautiful setting than the rodeo grounds just outside Buena Vista, Colorado. The stunning Collegiate Peaks provide a 14-thousand-foot backdrop to some of the most spectacular minerals the earth has to offer. Rock, mineral, fossil and gem dealers from around the western United States come here year after year to trade among themselves and offer some fantastic deals to the appreciative public.

The dealers were friendly and incredibly well versed about the rocks, minerals, and fossils they had for sale.

It was our first time at the show and we were astonished at the volume of beautiful specimens. Many of the dealers specialized in one or two particular types of minerals. We’d never seen such a display of the fragile Desert Rose! The sizes were magnificent; some of the specimens as large as several feet across. The rounded “pillows” of barite and gypsum formed an infinite array of patterns to delight your eyes.

Another dealer had tons-literally-of agate of every variety. His particular specialty was the polished slabs that could become beautiful cabochons under the expertise of a skilled gem cutter.

Our “next-door-neighbor” had exceptional red jasper she had gathered herself. We enjoyed listening to the stories she shared about each acquisition. She had met some amazing people along the way.

In fact, shared stories were the fare of the weekend. Each dealer seemed to have fantastic tales of their finds. Ex-miners shared stores of time spent in the depths of the earth and the treasures held in the mines. Speculation about the gems still hidden in closed mines always seemed to enter the conversation. Of course, there were fish tales, not of the “one that got away” variety, but of the mountains of gems still being pulled out of well-hidden mines. One wonders…, but then there were the exceptional specimens that were right there to see. Of particular note were the new specimens of Arkansas Quartz. One lucky person came through and bought every piece the owner had.

We picked up some really nice dinosaur bone and coprolite (fossilized dino poop). It will soon be for sale at www.fossilicious.com. I need to get pictures taken. Look for it later this week.

For more information on this event visit: http://www.coloradorocks.org/

If you’ve ever attended the Contin-Tail or other gem and mineral show, we hope you’ll take a few minutes to write your impressions, comments and recommendations for our readers.