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Fossils-Facts-And-Finds Ezine, Issue #002 -- Jurassic Poop, Neanderthals, Denver Gem and Mineral
November 27, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

We are thankful for all the new customers and visitors we’ve had throughout the year! Your kind words of appreciation and support really have kept us excited about the world of fossils.

And we’d be truly remiss if we failed to thank our web host, SBI! Thanks to their awesome instruction, support systems, and inspiration, we’ve gone from a brand new site to averaging 500 visitors each day in just about a years’ time! The help we’ve received has been the reason so many of you have found us! Thank you ALL!

We hope that each and every one of you will enjoy health and much happiness during this wonder-filled holiday time!

Table of Contents

  • News
    1. Jurassic Poop – The Book
    2. Neanderthals – How closely are they related to us?
  • Featured Articles
    1. Denver Gem and Mineral Show Fall 2006
    2. Trends in the Fossil Industry
    3. Fossils Make Great Gifts!
  • What’s New…
    1. @
    2. @


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Jurassic Poop: What Dinosaurs (And Others) Left Behind

There is a new book called Jurassic Poop: What Dinosaurs (and Others) Left Behind by Jacob Berkowitz.

The following is taken from Science and Evolution - Books and Reviews. If you want to read more follow the link at the end of the article.

“Twenty-five years ago American entomologist George Poinar's work on ancient insects in amber inspired Michael Crichton's futuristic thriller Jurassic Park. Now son Hendrik Poinar's groundbreaking work has inspired the world's first book on the science of fossil faeces, Jurassic Poop.

The new children's book by Canadian science writer Jacob Berkowitz reveals that America not only has the world's largest heap of ancient human leavings but that the study of coprolites, or fossil feces, is literally re-writing American history, including who attended the first Thanksgiving”.

Read the full story from Science and Evolution - Books and Reviews

Want some Jurassic Poop of your own? Follow this link to buy dinosaur coprolite


Neanderthals – How closely are they related to us?

Some recent blog posts discuss the relationship between Neanderthals and modern humans. Read the details by following the links below.

Neanderthal Genome Sequencing

Could Interbreeding Between Humans and Neanderthals Have Led to an Enhanced Human Brain?


Denver Gem and Mineral Show: Fall 2006

The fall Gem and Mineral show in Denver, Colorado has blossomed into a multi-site venue that’s reminiscent of the huge Tucson winter show. For those of you who may be unfamiliar, these events are typically held in motels and on their grounds. Small vendors set up in rooms, while those with larger inventories are housed in huge outdoor tents on the motel grounds and parking lots.

This year’s show appeared to be at least twice the size of previous events, with what seemed to be hundreds of new vendors. The venue at the Best Western had four to six large tents that took advantage of the space in the rear of the motel. Both serious and casual collectors could find specimens from a wide geographical range at just this one site.

Many of the vendors had a new location in the National Western complex. This put them in closer proximity to the other venues. For the buyer, this was particularly helpful as one could compare prices and quality with much greater ease.

Another advantage: the national western complex venue was all indoors. With the Denver weather that served up high winds and lots of rain that week, this location was far superior to the tent city that once housed most of these vendors. The spacious convention hall was open, inviting, and comfortable.

The Denver Merchandise Mart offered its usual Hall of Dinosaurs and fabulous exhibits of rare finds. You couldn’t want for a more complete display of Canadian ammonites or South Dakota dinos. This is real museum-quality stuff.

For the jeweler, the Denver show offered literally acres of beads, findings and precious gems. Row after row of polished minerals in all shapes and sizes offered the bead and jewelry designer limitless supplies for the creations to come.

We spent most of our time at the Holiday Inn venue. As collectors of Moroccan and Madagascar fossils and minerals, we found the highest concentrations of our particular interest there. We appreciated the new finds offered by our regular associates, but were happily surprised by some new, smaller vendors who had high quality and low prices. This reiterates the value of the large-scale venue that Denver is becoming.

There should be no surprise that Denver would be an excellent spot for a large-scale fossil, gem and mineral show. Denver is filled with professional and amateur geologists who have come to study: at the School of Mines in Golden, at the Denver Museum of Natural History or at any of the unique formations that are the result of our Mesozoic inland seas.

The area around Denver boasts so many only-one-in-the-world geologic conditions. At Red Rocks Park you can see some of the oldest rocks on the planet. Dinosaur Ridge offers dino tracks and a walk back in time for FREE. The museum’s exhibit of the Earth’s evolution puts the visitor in the middle of the many changing environments that have existed right here in Denver.

It’s not too soon to plan for your trip to next year’s Gem and Mineral show. You’ll want to map out where to shop, where to explore and where to stay. The options are many, so don’t waste a moment getting yourself to Denver in September.

Want to see what we bought in Denver? Scroll down to the What’s New Section for highlights and a discount coupon!


Trends in the Fossil Industry

Fossils have been valued for thousands of years. In early civilizations, fossils, minerals and gemstones, were treasured for both decoration and psychic powers. There seems to be something inherent in the human attraction for beautiful things from the earth. When coupled with the intrigue of formation and geologic history, these earthly gifts take on special significance.

Modern people love fossils as much as their ancient counterparts. Trends in fossil collecting go through “fashion” changes.

While we’ve been in the fossil business for just a few years, we have witnessed in this short time some trends and changes in the business.

Availability has a huge effect on fossil trends. Even with species that are relatively plentiful, there can be years in which the finds are limited. Split ammonites from Madagascar as still readily available, but there is indication of a reduction of species coming from the mines and the price is going up.

Personal tastes in fossils changes over time, too. Our Moroccan fossil dealer told us recently that there is an increasing demand for raw, unpolished plaques filled with fossil remains. These specimens are bringing a higher price than the plaques filled with polished fossils.

High quality will always fetch a pretty penny. Polished or unpolished, a complete fossil specimen is still rare compared to the multitude of damaged or partially complete specimens that one finds in the field.

However, the discerning collector knows to watch for reconstructions. Talented fossil preparers glue parts from one onto the parts of another, making what appears to be a perfect specimen. There are signs that can signal the reconstruction, but without the trained eye, can be easily overlooked. However, the perfect, non-reconstructed specimen will demand the higher price.

And then there are the replicas: copies of original fossils that are made to look like the real things. Sometimes these are passed off as originals. A good copy artist can make a specimen that looks surprisingly real. There is nothing wrong with a replica…as long as you know that’s what you are buying.

You might wonder why these practices came to be. There is probably no one reason. In Morocco, fossils are one of their abundant natural resources. Many people make a living working in fossil excavation and fossil preparation “factories.” Often in countries that lack other natural resources for income, the fossil industry inspires some less-than-honest practices.


Fossils Make Great Gifts!

Fossils are AMAZING!!! To hold a 350-million-year-old specimen in the palm of your hand, truly puts life into perspective! Many adults still remember those special finds from their childhood. We’ve heard tale after tale of special fossils! A fossil gift brings back those memories.

Fossils make beautiful gifts for the home, as well! They are great conversation pieces. And the natural beauty of the bowls and serving items that are made from the beautiful rocks are truly one-of-a-kind!

For a child, a fossil inspires learning. Just yesterday I visited with a young boy who had a burning question from one of our fossil books. He proceeded to share with me about his favorite fossil and all the amazing things it could do when it was alive…and he was only 7! We have designed books and collections that will inspire the young geologist or paleontologist. You won’t just be giving a cool gift; you will be giving the gift of learning!

Check out all the great gifts at! With free shipping (usps first class) and gift wrap available at your request, your gift-giving list will be history in no time!


What’s New…?

We have started a new website on rocks and minerals called This site is still young and growing. Currently we have information on the earth’s interior, igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks and many individual specimens. We are adding new pages regularly. Look for lesson plans, rock and mineral identification, the rock cycle coming soon.

@ : New products from the Denver Show

Fossil Pendants: We have some really nice ammonite and orthoceras pendants available now. They are both highly polished with lots of detail. Wear some history or give as holiday gifts. Check them out here :

Fossil Jewelry

Fossil Bowls and Book Ends: We have added both large and small fossil bowls to our Home Décor section. These are truly beautiful as display pieces but they are also functional. They have been polished to bring out the details of the fossils and are food safe having no artificial coatings.

Our book ends come in two styles. One is completely polished, while the other has a rough surface with only the fossils being polished. See both the Bowls and Book ends here:

Fossilicious Home Decor

Receive a 10% discount on any fossilicious products!Use this coupon code ffaf2 to receive 10% off any item on our website! Coupon code is valid until December 31, 2006.


Work in Progress

For those of you who have been patiently awaiting the publication of our books on the geologic periods, well, they’re really close to being ready for you.

Our artist has just a few more pictures to finish, the mock-ups are almost complete, and we plan to go to publication within the next month. If you’re a Montessori teacher and plan to attend the AMS conference in NYC, we’ll have them there!


Did you ever wish you had a high traffic website?
This free ebook is a must read for anyone thinking about creating a website…and wanting to make sure it works. SBI showed us the way and they can help you too!

free ebook

At the top of the page we mentioned our success with our web host. You may want to read some other success stories with SBI. If so follow this link:

SBI Case Studies


Written by….Doug and Claudia Mann
© copyright 2006/2007 by

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