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Fossil Collection

Visual Identification

We put together many different fossil collections. This chart was created for our Young Paleontologist Collections. Because the availability of some fossils changes over time enven this one collection has variations. You should have 6 fossils from each colored background. Once you find the photo that matches one in your collection, click on the photo to leard more about that fossil.

-Some Fossil Identification Tips befor you begin-
  • First, use the Identification Chart to match as many fossils to pictures as you can. They won’t always look exactly like the picture because every fossil is unique.
    • Look for things like basic shape, markings (like the “ring” patterns that go around a clam or the spiral shape of an Archimedes bryozoan) and color.
    • There are some that will be difficult to identify by shape, like the algae, petrified wood, coral, elimia, graptolites, butterstone, stromatolite and basalt lava. Each of these are a piece of something bigger. For example the petrified wood could be a tree branch or a chunk of the tree trunk. The coral, butterstone, stromatolite, algae and basalt are small pieces of much larger rock specimens. The elemia and graptolites are imbedded in a matrix, so you may see the fossil from different angles. On all of these fossils, you have to look closer at colors, markings or patterns.

ammonite brachiopod crinoid
trilobites clams horn coral
basalt butterstone stromatolite
sponge dinosaur-bone gastropod tx
oyster Elimia
algae bryozoan Homospira Brachiopod
coral archimedes crinoids from the Permian Period
Sowerbyella Brachiopod Platyostoma Gastropod Orthocanthus Shark Tooth
Orthoceras Bryozoan Graptolites
Graptolites Graptolites
fossil wood from Madagascar Petrified Wood from Utah sea urchin
shark teeth Turritella, St Mary's Formation gastropod from Mexico
mosasaur tooth coral-neogene Elimia Wyoming
Spinosaurus Tooth gastropod from Morocco

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