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My Fossil Collection

Setting Up your Fossil Collection

Congratulations! You’ve just purchased a great set of fossils! While you could definitely just keep them in the bag and enjoy them as is, fossils are a lot more fun if you learn what they are and identify information about the animal or plant that is fossilized.

The first thing you have to do is decide if you want to set up your collection like a real paleontologist keeps their fossils or if a different system works better for you.

Real paleontologists keep their fossil specimens in cardboard boxes called flats. Inside the flats, they use small individual boxes for each fossil and label the fossil using a small Identification card. You will find sample cards to print and fill in with information about about each of your fossils at the bottom of this page (or at this link: Fossil Collection Labels)

Cardboard flats are not necessarily the best system for a young fossil collector just starting out. You might prefer to keep your fossils in a sturdy wooden or plastic box that is divided into compartments that will keep your fossils separated and organized.

No matter the type of box you choose, the most important part about any collection is the identification of the items in the collection. You should take time to find out the name of each of your fossils and the location where they were found. You might even want to give your fossils an ID number. This will help you keep different fossils of similar types organized and identified as unique specimens. You can find the information you need to identify your fossil at this link: identify my fossils

Sample label for you specimens.

Common name ___________________________________
Genus/species ___________________________________
Locality _________________________________________
Period.Age ______________________________________
Collector _________________________ Date __________
Notes: __________________________________________
ID # _____________________________

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INTERESTED IN MORE INFORMATION? IF SO, YOU MAY WANT TO CHECK OUT OUR OTHER SITES: - An educational site about fossils and geologic time - An educational site about rocks, minerals, and geology.

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