Imagine taking a journey back to 1 million years ago. How would the experience be like? This is the exact feeling you will have when you discover a fossil in your backyard.
Fossils are essential connectors of the past and present times. They help humans figure out how life used to be a hundred, thousands, or millions of years ago. Each fossil discovery opens a new page to the ancient world.
Also, fossil hunting is an adventurous and exciting task full of mystery. It allows you to contribute to developing a complete evolution story. Learning how to find fossils in your backyard can be a breakthrough to having a page in the scientific discovery books.
- How to Find Fossils in Your Backyard
- 1. Determine the type of fossils to find
- 2. Know the best sites to look for fossils
- 3. Understand the legal requirements
- 4. Work with a geologist
- 5. Get the right tools
- FAQs about Finding Fossils in Your Backyard
- How can you find fossils in your area?
- When is the right time to look for fossils?
- How can you identify a fossil?
How to Find Fossils in Your Backyard
1. Determine the type of fossils to find
Different places will have different types of fossils. For example, if your land lies on a formally woodland place, you will likely get tree fossils. In the same way, you will find aquatic fossils in areas that were once swampy or water bodies.
Having information on the type of fossils that you can find in your backyard is essential. It will save your time and help you do your search efficiently.
Here are some tips for determining the type of fossils found in your area:
- Check out the geologist fossil classification of your area
- Visit the local museum for information
- Use the fossil discovery app
- Find information on other fossil discoveries in your locality.
2. Know the best sites to look for fossils
Fossils are not everywhere, and not everyone has the opportunity to site on a fossilized yard. But knowing the right place to look for a fossil can ease your hunting mission.
Typically, fossils reside on sedimentary rocks. You will rarely find any in granites and basalts rocks. Also, you can look out for fossil traces in quarries, coal mines, and volcanic rocks.
If your land lies in any of these sites, you will likely discover a fossil in your backyard. So, you must know the best sites for fossil exploration missions before you dig up your yard in vain.
3. Understand the legal requirements
States differ on rules governing fossil exploration. For instance, you cannot collect vertebrate fossils in the US without an institutional permit.
Also, the government restricts fossil exploration in some areas. Before kicking off your fossil-finding journey, you need to understand these rules and regulations.
4. Work with a geologist
Finding fossils can be a fulfilling mission, but without the right exploration skills, it will be in vain. For example, you need to understand how to find fossils in rocks. You also should have tracing skills and avoid digging your yard effortlessly.
The best way to avoid these aspects is to work with a geologist. You can get one from your local natural history museum. The geologist will act as your mentor and offer the right tools for the fossil-finding task.
Also read: How to find cool stones in the yard
5. Get the right tools
Having the right tools will make fossil finding an easy task. However, you do not need a series of equipment as most fossils are held loosely among the rocks.
Some of the tools you will require include:
- Geological hammer for splitting the rocks
- Safety glasses to prevent damaging your eyes with small chips of rocks
- A camera
- A plastic bag for holding the fossils
- A mobile phone installed with fossil explorer apps
FAQs about Finding Fossils in Your Backyard
How can you find fossils in your area?
You can find fossils through simple steps. First, determine the type of fossil you want to find and its prevalence in our area. Second, do your research to determine the places where you are likely to get fossils.
Some of these places include sedimentary rocks on the river banks, quarries, coal mines, and beaches. Remember, different rocks have different ages and will contain varying fossils. So, you need to do your research perfectly to avoid wasting your time looking for the wrong things.
Also read: Landscape rock rakes for lawn tractor
When is the right time to look for fossils?
You can find fossils at any time. However, winter is the best time for fossil finding, particularly when your backyard is next to the beach.
During the season, the beaches experience rough seas and high that reveal a large number of fossils. But you need to be careful as the situation can be life-threatening. So, always go for the mission when the tides go out.
How can you identify a fossil?
Many people confuse a bone for a fossil. Not every bone found underground is a fossil. You can identify a fossil rock by checking various aspects such as:
Fossil finding is a fulfilling and adventurous moment. The task allows you to add a new page on world history. However, it can be challenging without knowing how to go about it.
Fossils bridge the gap between the current and the ancient world. They can be everywhere, including your backyard.
Learning how to find fossils in your backyard will play a central role in completing the evolution story. For instance, understanding where and what type of fossils to find can save time.
Also, you need to know how to differentiate fossils and rocks and the types of rocks where you are likely to get some fossils.