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Coprolite: My #2 Favorite Fossil*

Coprolite: My #2 Favorite Fossil*

Let’s just get into it - dinosaurs pooped and sometimes that poop fossilized and these two facts have brought an incredible amount of joy to my life. That’s right, we’re talking coprolites! Of course, other animals pooped too and their poop also fossilized. Coprolites are any fossilized feces from any animal, and I am a big fan of all of them. a coprolite from South Carolina,  between 5 and 23 million years old Coprolites are trace fossils, meaning they are not fossils of the animal itself but rather a record of a behaviour performed by that animal, like a footprint...

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Petrified vs. Fossilized - What's The Dif?

Petrified vs. Fossilized - What's The Dif?

Fossilized wood vs petrified wood, what's the difference? Is there a difference?! Turns out it is kind of simple and also kind of complicated. Petrifaction is a type of fossilization, so all petrified wood is fossilized wood but not all fossilized wood has been petrified. To be considered petrified, the cells of the original organism had to have been replaced by minerals via permineralization so that a record of the internal structures are preserved. This is in contrast to cast fossils where the entire original organism decomposed leaving a cavity which was then filled in with minerals. That was a...

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Enhydro Quartz - Tiny Bubbles Make Me Happy

Fossils and Minerals

Enhydro Quartz - Tiny Bubbles Make Me Happy

First things first…. ”Enhydros” is a bit of a misnomer. It is a trade name given to minerals that have fluid inclusions, which would be all fine and great except that Enhydros are already a thing* so it can be a little confusing if you are doing a geology/mineralogy deep dive. If you are not looking to get all nerdy and just want to browse for cool stones and jewelry with million+ year old time capsules inside, then asking for/searching for enhydros will probably get you what you’re after. Sorry to start this one off on the pedantic side, but...

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Trilobites - Simply The Best

Trilobites - Simply The Best

Geez, where do I even start with trilobites?!  They are my favorite animal and my favorite fossil to work with. I find them to be very adorable and endlessly interesting. I could go on and on about why they are so dang cool, and I probably will in future posts, but let's start with the basics today and I will save the deep dives for another time.  An array of Elrathia kingii trilobite fossils used in my latest collection. Trilobites are an extinct type of ocean dwelling arthropods; animals with no back bones that have a hard exoskeleton, segmented bodies...

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Mookaite: Earth's Most Beautiful Ooze?

Fossils and Minerals

Mookaite: Earth's Most Beautiful Ooze?

Mookaite is a type of radiolarite, and radiolarite is made from radiolarian oozes. Simple as that, end of blog post!  An uncut slab of mookaite showing nice color variety. I generally prefer the purple and pinkish colors over the yellow tones, but that's just me ;) Pic from mindat.org Kidding, kidding. This whole saga might be the coolest thing I learned about this year, so I’m going to need to ramble about it a bit more than that. Let’s start with radiolaria, which you may know better as plankton. Teeny tiny plankton, like 0.1 to 0.12 millimeters tiny! These little...

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