A Dinosaur Hunt (Well, Sort of…)

Pictured above is the fossil of Lepidodendron. Theses are common find on West Virginia. I found this one as part of the wall of the gift shop at Babcock State Park. πŸ˜‰ At one point I had the beginnings of a decent collection but donated them to an education effort. The surprising thing is when we find fossils of sea creatures on our mountain tops. ( Well, not so surprising to those of us who believe in a global flood 😁) I have found clusters of seashells in the Greenbriar River. Several years ago I was filling potholes in a private road and broke open some sandstone to find the fossils of reeds.

There’s a trick to finding fossils. First, you have to have an idea of where to look. I have had the best luck by studying the lay of the land and if I spot a place that has a depression where water gathers that’s a good place. Next, I look for sandstone. Fossils form when silica fills the organic matter and sandstone is silica. If the stone has layers then that’s a good sign too. I carefully place a chisel into the seam and gently tap. The layer should simply separate. More often than not there’s no fossil but it does give one an excuse to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. As always I implore you to respect private and public property which means that you need permission from the landowner. But it’s a relatively relaxing activity that’s cheap and easy. Even if you don’t find a fossil you might find a stone with neat patterns that could used as part of an art project. Give it try.

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