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Paleontology For Kids FAQ's

Frequently asked Questions:

Are these all REAL fossils?

  • YES! All of these fossils are sourced from rockhounds around the world and are guaranteed authentic!

How do I figure out which one is which?

  • 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.
Where did they come from?

  • To learn the location where a particular fossil was found, look under the name of the fossil on the identification page. You can learn more information about the fossils by going to this page: and clicking on the name of the fossil.
How old are they?

  • The fossils range in age from 2.5 billion years old to 15,000 years old. You can find out how old each specimen is by looking under the name of the fossil on the fossil identification page.
Why are they so small?

  • We wanted to make sure your collection contained a specimen from every Era ( and everyGeologic Period on the Time Line of Life. Many times there are few affordable fossils available to add to a collection, especially of the Proterozoic Era and the Permian and Triassic Periods. What is available are mostly small, invertebrate fossils like mollusks, because there were so many of them and because their outer shells mad good fossil material.

Some of your collections have fossils in bags with info cards, why are these fossils packed in a tube?
  • There are two reasons we packed the Paleontology for Kids Discovery Kit fossils in a tube. The first reason is because there are more fossils in this collection. We wanted to reduce the amount of plastic and paper in this kit, while making sure your fossils would arrive safely in a firm, protective outside tube. The most important reason, though, is because we wanted to make this kit more interactive, so we made lots of ways to go on a virtual scavenger hunt to learn about your fossils. There so much more interesting information than we can write on a little card. Since YOU are a young Paleontologist, we know you want to learn as much as you can! Have FUN!

GOT MORE QUESTIONS? Write us at! We’d love to hear from you!
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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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