Monday, November 19, 2012

A Quick Fossil Hunt

We visited my childhood home in the suburbs of St. Louis last week and we took a 10 minute detour to a creek that I frequently played in as a boy. I have many stories and fond memories of this creek and the surrounding woods. 

One characteristic that not many local folk are aware of is that the creek bed is rich in fossils. When I was 11-13 years old, I spent many a summer day with an equally enthusiastic friend, sitting on the gravel bars scouring the rocks for fossils. 

The vast majority of the fossils are coelenterates, bryozoans, brachiopods, crinoids, and very rarely, arthropods. Trilobites were considered the Holy Grail. Over a two year period, I found only one trilobite and it was small and incomplete. Later, whilst in college, I was telling a fellow biology student about this creek and he was quite skeptical. One afternoon, we made a visit and he was happy to find some nice specimens. Below are few that I found during my 10 minutes there. I really need to set aside an afternoon in the summer to do a more extensive survey of the area.

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