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Readers Respond: The First Fossil I Ever Found

Responses: 36


From the article: Finding Fossils
Maybe it was a shell or a shark tooth. Maybe it was a GIANT DINOSAUR SKELETON! Whatever it was, it surely left an impression on your impressionable young mind. What Was It?

Erie Canal

I live in upstate New York and spent my youth living by the Erie Canal. In the fall they drain the canal exposing rocks along the sides. I would bring a hammer and chisel and some empty egg cartons my mom would save for me. I would chip shells out of the rocks all day and then go home and check out my fossils. I still look for fossils when I am hiking and exploring the beautiful area where I live.

Ultimate fossil find!

My first fossil were 3 absolutely perfect fossil jellyfish at the long reef platform, I got all of them but later on 1 of them got broken and the other 1 I sold for $100.
—Guest Daniel

First Fossil

Growing up in the anthracite region of PA mine dumps had lots of plant fossils including ferns,. Lepidodenron trees, and all the plants of that period. When I found out how old they were , I was hooked big time. Geology always fascinated me, but ended up in meteorology.
—Guest Karl Loeper


When about 10 years of age, I went with an elderly cousin to hunt for fossils near Old Cocoa Post Office near Melvin, Alabama. About mid morning, I found a beautiful 3 1/2 inch long sharks tooth. It was the prize of my collection until someone stole it a couple of years ago.
—Guest MacMarine

First,lost and recent

My first fossil(s) were scallop shells at an exposed outcrop in a neighborhood field. The kids in the neighborhood called it the "ginger ale fountain", but really it was caused by a large drainage pipe from a General Mills air conditioning pipe. My lost fossil was a dragonfly I found a few years later and a neighbor boy stole from me. My most recent is a Woolly Mammoth tooth I found while walking my dog. Keep looking down.
—Guest Bainbridgenelson

Railroad Coal

When I was a kid in Western Pennsylvania (near Pittsburgh), my friends and I used to hike the hills and dales just for the fun of it. Sometimes we would walk along the railroad tracks, picking up old spikes and pieces of coal that had fallen from ore cars hauling Pennsylvania's "gold" to the nearby steel mills. (This was back in the 60's before the steel mills crashed and were sold wholsesale to China.) Anyway... my prize fossil find was a 4-inch chunk of coal with the partial imprint of some kind of leaf in it. It's nothuing great or are, but since I found it, I still have it in my collection some 50 years later.
—Guest Chuck Stewart

Mazon Creek

Found my first fossil helping my grandfather in his garden. I was about 5 years old at the time, still have it 66 years later. I worked at the stripmine where the Mazon Creek fossils were found. I just wish I had the ones I gave away.
—Guest nick

Grandad's coal...

The first fossil I ever found was as a child while "spelunking" in my Grandad's coal bunker in Britain. Living in the middle of a big city, it was the closest I could ever get to digging for new additions to the two small "Rocks & Minerals" kits I'd bought. Living in a concrete jungle as a kid was so frustrating when you had an interest in geology, but none of your adults did! I used to dig for fossils in the coal a few times, but only ever found the one. It was a partial fossil of what appeared to be the veins of a leaf and I got so excited to have finally have found something myself for my rock hound collection.
—Guest TeeK


I have at least one thousand horn coral fossils plus brachiopods clams and more from Cayuga lake
—Guest michael huhn

Sperm Whale skull

The first fossils I found were on a field trip to fossil hill - seashells...but on my own, found several large scallop shells and a leaf print at a local riverbed. The best find though was a 15-20 million year old sperm whale skull found in 32 feet of water while diving off Santa Barbara. It is about 2'x3' but weighed 80+ lbs and needed to be lifted with air bags. Flat sand area but must have come from the Monterey Formation.

Crinoid stems

My first fossil specimen was actually given to me as part of an aquarium setup - a piece of chert loaded with crinoid stems. As soon as I was old enough to drive, I started looking for the spot where that specimen could have come from. I still have not found it, but within a few months I was hooked on geology and ended up getting an MS in geology!

Near by jogira pond

When i went to guda (kolayat, bikaner) with a well experienced teacher, i found a pretty brown coloured bivalve with proper structure. dat was my first field work and i got dat after having hardwork. that was superb experience!
—Guest Shikha sharma

hills and hollers

I found a road they call bullcreek road - seems like the name came from fossilized bullhorns - i have found mega horn corals - what can i say i didnt know any better either!

Paradoxides davidiis

As a student on a field trip in Wales we visited the Cambrian shale outcrop at Porth-y-Rhawr. A shard of the shale flew through my ear and a slab crashed to the ground. My ear bled profusely but when I looked there was 70% of this huge trilobite in the rock. I named him "Vincent".
—Guest Geoff Farrell

My first field trip

In my first year at university I took two classes in geology because they were never offered at my high school. One day, during the second term, we took a field trip to an Ordovician outcrop in Manitoba and it was fantastic. It was a quarrying area so lots of new stuff was exposed and a bunch of people just could not for the life of them find any fossils while I found a number of brachiopods, several trilobite molds, horn coral and a beautiful specimen of receptulites which is one of the stars of my collection to this day.
—Guest Brandon geologist

What Was It?

The First Fossil I Ever Found

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