Where Are Dinosaur Fossils?

Many people dream about finding dinosaur fossils, particularly from big dinosaurs like Tyrannosaurus Rex. Kids and adults love to see the various fossils on display at many museums, imagining what the creature was like when it walked the earth. Some dinosaur fossils are easy to find, while others will take a great deal of searching and care.

Fossils can be thought of as the remains of ancient life on the earth. They can be made from bones, shells, teeth, and wood. Sometimes actual hair, fur, or other animal material has been preserved as well. Other things that are sometimes found are eggs, leaf impressions, and footprints. The common factor for all fossils is that they have to be at least 10,000 years old.

     


Before you head out into the field to look for fossils, you should educate yourself on fossils and how to find them. You don’t want to damage any fossils that you may find so it will pay to do some learning in advance. Visit museums, read books on collecting, and join a fossil collecting club, if possible. You may also be able to visit an actual dig.

One place that you can often find fossils without a lot of work is on the beach. Fossilized shark’s teeth are actually very common on beaches around the world. This would make a great introduction for a child interested in dinosaur fossils. Just read up on the beaches where fossilized teeth are frequently found.
On land, you’ll want to look for sedimentary rock, made from mud, sand, silt, and other materials. Water often carries sediments and deposits them into strata. Looking for stratified rock will help you find likely areas for fossils.

Two places to look for fossils include areas that have experienced uplifting or erosion. Uplifting happens when two of the Earth’s plates meet each other and one plate goes up and the other is forced down. This is the way that mountains form. Erosion happens as water and wind wear away the surface of the earth.

This means that places like canyons, cliffs, river banks, and deserts are often good places to find fossils. Many prominent fossil areas are protected by the government, but you can often watch scientists on site or maybe even volunteer to help out. Remember that fossils are important to understanding the past, so you should leave a fossil in place unless you have a lot of experience in extracting fossils from the earth.

When you’re looking, keeping an eye out for unusual shapes or textures in the rock. Anything that stands out from the rock around it because of its difference should be explored further. You should take your time looking for fossils and do everything as carefully as you can.
If you find a fossil and know how to extract it, you should always record information about where and when you found it if you choose to remove the fossil from the surrounding rock. Even with fossilized teeth on the beach, have kids record the information. It’s good practice and they’ll feel like they are doing science.

Finding dinosaur fossils can be exciting for young and old alike. Learn as much as you can and always remember to do your best to preserve anything that you find. You can learn a lot by volunteering on digs and by reading up on fossil finds.

Frank j Vanderlugt owns and operates http://www.dinasour-fossils.com 2 Dinasourfossilscom
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