Where To Look For Fossils

Much of the United States is underlain by sedimentary rock which contains fossils, but the northern third of the nation is blanketed with glacial debris, sometimes as much as one-hundred feet thick, and even the un-glaciated regions wear a mantle of soil. For this reason, the fossil collector will have to seek places where the rock is exposed by excavations of one sort or another.

These include quarries, coal and metal mines, roadcuts and railroad cuts, foundation excavations, tunnels, and canals, as well as such natural exposures as river banks, beaches, and mountain slopes. For certain special types of fossils the collector will turn to bogs, tar pits, seeps, and the like. This chapter will discuss each type of site, with suggestions about methods of collecting and what may be expected in each.

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