Fossil Identification And Classification

Fossil identification can be a challenging proposition. Often a small detail is all that seperates one species from another. Still overall classification system is not so difficult to understand.

Fossils of animals are classified, as are living specimens, by observing the body structures and functions. While there are a few unique challenges in classifying fossils, the basic scheme of organization is the same. Going one step at a time can make fossil identification possible for anyone.

Biological classification systems have a long history. Aristotle, working in ancient Greece, sought to classify animals by comparing the essence of the species. His system was a detailed system that included descriptions of the body. He believed that all species related to earth, air , fire, and water and classified accordingly..

More than a few centuries later, Carolus Linnaeus created another organizational system. His system was hierarchical, with increasingly detailed separations among members of the groups. Today, scientists use more or less the same system.

Living organisms are grouped according to their similar characteristics. Therefore, animals are in a group separate from plants, separate from bacteria, etc.

Breaking down the animal kingdom, the phylum level attempts to put animals into broad categories of similar body types. Phylum Porifera contains animals whose bodies are a collection of cells that loosely come together and are filled with many openings or pores. An example of this is the sponge. Phylum Mollusca all have soft bodies, no internal skeleton, and, often, are able to make shells. Phylum Echinodermata all have shells with a bumpy surface, or “spiny skin” as their name implies.

Subsequent groupings are formed on the same basis: similarity of features, even when the features are minute or on a chemical level.

The classification divisions are as follows:
Kingdom
Phylum
Class
Order
Family
Genus
Species

Getting back to fossil identification…fossils belong to the same groups as modern-day animals. A Trilobite had an exoskeleton, jointed appendages (legs primarily) and a body that had distinct sections. All these features make it a member of the Phylum Arthropoda. The crinoid looked like a delicate plant with a “flower” at the end of a long stalk. But the stalk and the flower, were actually an animal that had bumpy skin—so it fits into the Phylum Echinodermata.

Paleontologists look at minute details to determine further fossil identification and classification. With the trilobites, they consider the construction of their eyes, the variation in the segments of the body, the quality of the exoskeleton-whether it has a smooth surface or rough-the presence of antennae, and even the internal organs! Definitely a job for experts, but with a little practice, you will begin to call them by smaller group names such as Phacops or Agnosta!

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Here are some recent submissions we have identified.

Click below to see fossils from our visitors.

Bones 
My father found bones you can see the inside of some of the inside bones don't know what it's called sorry but it's more rock than bone fossilized we found …

What is this?!?! 
Isn't this amazing? I've searched so long for an answer but I can't seem to figure out what it is!! HELP!

Michigan finds 
I am an amateur rock collector and I found these, please help!

need help identifing 
these all came out of a 6 ton load of river rock I had delivered last summer in iowa.

No idea 
My children found this while we were visiting hopton on sea a few years back and my son brought it down from his toy box as we had forgotten about it .. …

The little rob wash monster and his friend shelly 
I didn't find these two together the small shell looking guy came in on a load of gravel for used for landscaping. I hope you can see what I see in the …

Brainy! 
This was found in our garden near Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, UK, in 1969 and has travelled with us to every home since. There were other fosilized stones …

Pantano wash tucson az. Fossils 
I found these while hiking two of them in pantano wash and two in rob wash. Both located on outside of Tucson.i have removed one of the fossils from the …

Corals  
Found locally , in prime locations of red clay beds perfectly preserving the ancient corals. Wish I had closer related dates of their living time line …

rock or fossil?? 
A surface rock I found and split open in Westfield, NY about 1 mile from Lake Erie. I can't tell if it's just an interesting looking rock, but I see patterns. …

Backyard rock 
Found this in back yard in south, central michigan. Not sure if fossil or not. Heavy at about 33.5 lbs and about a foot across. Not magnetic.

tooth? 
hymettus mountain fossil. Athens, Greece.

Sponge ??? 
My daughter found this at a man made lake in Oklahoma lake Stanley draper looked like a cool rock so I didn't let her skip it after looking more at it …

Piedra river 
Found thisin the river. Here in colorado. Dont know if its rare or not.any information you can give me would be nice.i know its a crinoid columnal.

Ocean bone 
I was hunting shark teeth at Caspersen Beach, FL when I found this specimen in about three feet of water. Looks like some marrow and a partial joint …

Cave Fossil 
Hi, I was recently exploring a wild cave in Northwest Arkansas and I found this fossil stuck on the side of one of the canyon walls inside. It is a limestone …

whatcoulditbe 
All we know is it came from the Yukon near a goldmine trailing pond.

Coprolite or what? 
Found in a bunch of road crush out front of my house in Alberta. Looks like a coprolite but the folds look to0 regular and look like gills.

I have no idea! 
It's hard to really capture what it looks like in a picture, but if you look closely there are crystals inside of the fossil. The white parts are raised. …

fish 
I found it on the edge of a river, in the water

Fish 
It was my grandpa's I was just trying to find out what kind it is

Small animal 
My dad found this in a gravel pit.

LECTOEFOR 
SPOTTED A VIVID OUT LINE OF SOMTHING LIKE A FISH UNDER A MAGNIFIER THERE IS SOMETHING LIKE SCALES UNUSUAL SHAPES LIKE COPIES OF A ORGANISM WHERE CAN I …

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Shelled  
Found within large stone.

Is it a fossil? 
I think I found a bone it was covered in shale which had lots of fossilized leaves which I've found loads. I found it on Loughor foreshore Swansea.

?????????? 
found at seaside when going to beach. …

sea horse 
found at seaside when going to beach

Fish Death Assemblage 
I found this in Brookpark, Ohio, USA. Just sitting on the surface in a yard. They all seem to be the same kind of fish.

California fossil bone ??? 
Found in Tuolumne California. Its about 6+" long

rock or fossil? 
This was found in the mariposa county area in california

Hopeful 
My boys and I went for a nature walk I started looking for arrowheads around the area and came across ths Skull shaped rock.I started not to pick it …

Possible Prehistoric Freshwater Snail 
We were fishing in a Creek near Stockdale,TX and came across this on a dry part of the Creek, also came across a mammoth tooth in this same area around …

Early Gambler 
Found this a few years ago, so not exactly sure where, but most all of the fossils I have were found in dry washes in the desert surrounding Las Vegas, …

Possible Jaw 
Found in Sussex, Fairlight beach.

Not sure what i have 
My daughter found this while playing in some rocks that make up a path in our backyard so it could have come from anywhere

Crystal Jellyfish  
Found in the park on a rocky trail by trees. It was the only fossil in the area, and I found a small piece like it.

Small 1cm ammonite 
Please identify this for me. I'm trying to identify all !y fossils and I'm having trouble with this if you know the type I will be really happy.

unknown 
While digging a post hole in the back yard for a deck. We found this. Don't know what it is but looks pretty interesting.

Fossil  
On a recent trip to Himalayas I found a fossil rock which i would be interested in knowing more about it. I have attached the pics. Please if you can …

Feathery plant 
On the surface of a limestone patio - picture scale is with the plant extending by ~ 40cm.

Unknown fossil 
This was found on a beach in Sjælland, Denmark in july 2017. The Stone is about 15 cm long. The white in the middle of the fossil was different from other …

Erratic?  
Found at Last mountain lake, Saskatchewan

fossil head 
my buddy has property in california. and the merced river runs along his property,and he has nothing but rocks on it. big boulders. well my daughter and …

Cheat River WV Rafting find 
A few weeks ago, my daughter went rafting on the Cheat River in WV and found this fossil on the banks while eating lunch. She has been reaching out to …

River Find 
I found this specimen in the Nottely River, near Blairsville, Georgia this weekend. It has been in the water for a long time and the fossil is somewhat …

40 Point beach fossil  
We were walking the beach to see a schooner ship wreck near Thunder Bay in MI.

Shell looking thing 
I found it on a secluded beach, and it was too big to dig out. Since I don't know for sure if it is even a fossil, I didn't seem it wise to tell many about …

small animal 
a small animal. Anybody know what's the name of this animal?

Rock or Tooth ? 
Found this on the banks of the Sag River in Alaska. Looks like it could be a tooth or is it just a rock?

Landscaping find 
As I was standing outside my office I just happened to be looking down and some landscaping stones and glanced a stone that was unusual. It appears to …

? 
I found it on a stone slab bank of the Grand river in NW Missouri about 20 years ago. I looked it up years ago and found that these are supposed to be …

Alice's fossil 
Found on beach at Pevensey, East Sussex, England

Gilboa NY Region 
Stone is over 500 pounds. Devonian I think. Hoping to I.D. specifics.

Dirt road rock 
It was on a gravel road

Macassar 
I have no idea what it is, please help? It was found on a beach in Cape Town, South Africa.

Bacteria lookin guy 
I found him swimming the other day

Unknown  
Found this while digging a lake in East Sussex england

monkey 
Monkey head

Red Fossil 
Found this in a pile of dirt left by a contractor, it's about 2 1/4. By 3 1/2 rep ice red color

Baby sea turtle? 
I found this on Melbourne Beach and thought it was just a rock. The sea turtles were laying eggs while we were there. Later I thought it resembled a …

Any idea? 
Recently found this on the beech at brean sands near the hill for. Any info please?

Is this a tooth? 
We found this at Brownies Beach in Maryland while sifting for shark teeth. We thought it could be a crocodile tooth but we aren't convinced. Any idea what …

not sure 
I find these in a dry creek bed behind my house. I know what the crinoid is as it is our state fossil. The rest I hope to have identified. Thank you

mystery item  
im new to fossil hunting and came across this item and most agree its a fossil but dont know what

100 million years old? 
Found these in an arroyo in southeastern Colorado. I am really interested in what exactly they are.

Pic one. Type of Brachiopod. Pic 2 and 3. No clue. 
Hello, I can't identify. Pic one. We found this at the bottom of falls in Finger Lakes Region. Pic 2 and 3. We found at Big Brook in Colts Neck, NJ. Same …

Willamette River Find 
I have no fossil expertise, but found the shape and texture of this odd. Thought it may be a smoothed claw or digit? Would be great to get a definitive …

Large Bone in stone 
My late brother had this piece in his studio. I have no information on it.

Unknown 
I found this on the beach in Jacksonville, North Carolina. I need help identifying this!

Maybe tooth 
I found it on a beach off Georgian bay

Some kind of shellfish??? 
Found this after a big rain had eroded a pathway in the Manzano Mts of NM. It appears to have formed inside a shell so I guess it is not technically a …

Unknown from s.illinois 
I found this in my yard in Southern Illinois about 5 miles from the Indian mound. Hoping you could give me an idea what it is Is t I currently live …

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I don't know 
On my job site they are digging and I found a lot of that specimen. What kind of invertebrates aré those.

Found by shores of Lake Michigan 
I was at the beach in Chicago with my daughter and we like to find sea glass, fossils and other cool rocks and I found this partial fossil. Any help would …

Possible fossil tooth? 
Found this on our farm in Eureka Springs Arkansas. Thought it might be a tooth of some kind but no idea. Other than marine fossils all over the rocks, …

I don't know 
I found it on the beach in The Hague, Netherlands. I would love to know what it is ?

Unsure 
I found this fossil in Lake Erie in Ashtabula Ohio. Just curious about what it is.

unknown 
I found this among the curiosities in my grandfather's collection. I believe it to be a polished fossil, is it so? Thank you, Jesse Read Vancouver

A gastropod or perhaps an nautilus? 
I purchased this from a garage sale near Honey Lake, Ca. The seller laughed at me when I asked about his "snail" from his fence line. He thought I …

Unknown fossil found in Aptos, Ca 
We saw this on the beach and was wondering if you could identify it for us. Thank you, Marc

Tail? Leaf? 
Next to my house is an old riverbed, I love to go looking for special stones/fossils and found this. I tried to find anything that is looking a bit like …

Anguilla find 
Found on rocky beach in Anguilla, BVI. Jaw bone? Tentacle?

Cocoon? 
Hello, I found this on leaf river here in Petal Ms. I've had it for quite sometime and decided I would get an expert opinion on it. Thank you for your …

Don't know 
Found it one day working .

Rock or not? 
I was in the creek looking for cool rocks and I found this, I have no clue what it is and was wondering if it might be a fossil.

No idea 
I found this fossil approximately 15 years while on a trip for school. I believe we were in Kentucky looking for shell fossils and geodes. I have no idea …

backyard mystery 
Hello- I live in Northern California in the Sierra Foothills (Grass Valley CA). About 2.5 years ago I was cleaning up my backyard (all forest) when …

Unidentified whale vertebrae.  
A few months ago I went with my family to see my cousin in Charleston S.C. While there her friend took us fossil hunting. I found a few small meg teeth …

Megalodon? 
Is this a megalodon or some other large shark tooth? Thanks

Dolphin tooth perhaps? 
Found on a beach in Panama, Central America. Pretty sure it is a sea mammal tooth, looks and feels like ivory and there is the spongy fossilised top. I …

Sea fossils small but beautifully formed 
Found on a beach in Panama, Central America. They are small and difficult to photograph well. They are black/dark brown and appear to be layered with an …

Sea fossils small but beautifully formed 
Found on a beach in Panama, Central America. They are small and difficult to photograph well. They are black/dark brown and appear to be layered with …

Two egg type stones or fossils with lots of surface patterns 
Found these two rocks or fossils on a beach in Panama, Central America, within a few days of each other. I have never seen anything similar either before …

Shell fossil imprint plus 
Found this today on a beach in Panama, Central America. The shell is clear but on the reverse I am not sure if this is another fossil imprint or not. It …

PETRIFIED 🦀  
Found in Natchitoches parish Louisiana I'm guessing this is a cra

Plate of Marching/Swimming Fossils 
Purchased 7-8 years ago from a shop in Tucson, AZ. Lost scratch paper that we wrote down the name of fossil. Fairly sure fossil came from Morocco. Have …

fossil  
My father found this about 33 years in our pasture in weatherford texas

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plant or animal  
I purchased a usb microscope. while looking at my agate/jasper pebbles I noticed this one looks organic. I would either be from central Oregon or in Utah …

Backyard Fossil 
This is approx 1 1/2" x 3" and has various sizes of round shells? Or some kind of creature.

unknown 
It was from the Colorado area

Found in northern Ontario Canada  
My boyfriend works in a limestone rock quarry in northern Ontario (Canada)and found this today as he was chipping a rock ...any ideas what it is? Some …

500 MYA ? a man need help  
found it 12 years ago in north italy near a canyon, i dont know what it is, probably shells but hey are wird

I dont know what is it  
i found it 12 years ago in a canyon in north italy, no one could explain what it is

Tooth 
Hi i found this tooth. I think it could be equine but unsure of age and species. Could you tell me what its from and a rough age. Its quite heavy & stone …

Egidio 1 
This fossil has been found at 150 km Northern of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Unfortunately the main body is really damaged whereas 4 plaques of the shell …

Robin Hoods Fish 
Found on the beach at Robin Hoods Bay North Yorkshire.. There is another fish tail end underneath the head of the fish which confirmed to me that this …

Don't know 
Found on river bank, not sure what it is.

Robin Hoods Fish 
Found on the beach at Robin Hoods Bay North Yorkshire.. There is another fish tail end underneath the fish head end which confirmed to me that this was …

Belemnite?  
Whilst walking along the beach at South Beach, Studland, Dorset we found this odd shaped stone. My daughter thought it looked like a stone age spear head, …

Unknown 
I found this strange object in a crawlspace, I picked it up washed it off and still have no idea ,pls help was conyers ga house near a lake.

VOF Leaf Fossil 
Hiking in VOF State Park NV March 2017. Found lying on top of slickrock sandstone.

An ancient gastropod? 
Hello! This is a coil-shaped fossil, about 3 - 4 cm in diameter; rock of unknown provenance (not found in situ), probably from a limestone quarry in …

not sure. i think its a gastropod 
I found this in a creek in ohio. Please contact me if u can.. Jamesbillingsley1116@gmail.com

Gigantus Carcharidus 
Possible Shark tooth found in recently exposed beach cliff on top of a layer of Eocene Marine Invertebrates.The area has been recently exposed from rainfall …

Gigantus Carcharidus 
Possible Shark tooth found in recently exposed beach cliff.

Gigantus Carcharidus 
Possible Shark tooth found in recently exposed beach cliff.

T shaped bone 
I am digging out an unfinished portion of my basement in central Nebraska I found this bone about 4 feet down in a chalky layer. The bone is about …

Dino Vertebrea 
Found in Northern Arkansas near the Bull Shoals Lake are, private property. The picture sent before is showing the height this pic is of the length and …

fossil or a Turtle maybe embedded in lava rock? 
Found in Northern Arkansas near Bull Shoals Lake borders on a mountain top area. The area is private land and is not populated.

horse toe 
found a rock in Wyoming with a black line going down the middle. I broke the rock and out popped the toe.

Coal Find 
Found in Qingdao, Shandong Province, China, in a coal heap. Only some fragments preserved of coal, and the fossil is a light yellow-green.

Round  
Found it with my granddaughter shell hunting in the sound of the gulf of mexico...perfectly round smooth top with design on other side.. I thought it was …

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What it is? 
I found it on the hill close to my house in cardaklija macedonia I would love to know what it is ?

Spencer's Fossil 
Hello all! Here are a few more (better) pictures of Spencer's Fossil. If anyone has any information on this piece, please respond. Found in a river bank …

Crocodile Egg? 
Location: San Jose, CA Found solo, with no matrix in an area with almost no crocodile fossil sites so it's a long shot but it is what it looks like …

Robin Hood bay fossil  
Found in Robin Hoods Bay, Yorkshire. Wondering if they are parts of an ammolite maybe?

Silver Fossil? 
I found this on the shore of Lake Michigan. I'm wondering what it is and what the silver inside could be.

Fossil? 
Maybe found at the beach...don't remember. Please help...thanks

"Sandee" 
"San" as i call her is 47" long. Weight is approximately 75-100 pounds. I have no idea where it came from or what it is.

Nice small fossil 
I found in my yard. Ammonite?

Strange rock 
I found a rock while digging. After cleaning with vinegar a small fossil appeared. Do you know what it is?

Tuttle??? 
Looks like a Tuttle shell, But I do not no

Chris's finds 
Found these on a river bottom after major flooding eroded away the banks. Could use some help identifying. I have several ribs and what appear to be leg …

Patti's prize 
Playing in a creek in Northeast Missouri and found this

Hamada Fossil 
i found this fossil on Red Hamada ,actually many people asking me about it and the answer from my side was no idea. so i google some website to help me …

mammoth tooth? 
I found this in Lake Michigan. 2 other similar pieces have been found. any information would be appreciated thanks

mammoth tooth? 
I found this in Lake Michigan. 2 other similar pieces have been found. any information would be appreciated thanks

??? Delta, UT Fossil 
Hard as a rock found around delta ut.

i do not know  
Broke open big peace of clay 200' down at the bottom of a cliff in the cliff.in Utah.thin like paper it's not as leaf ??????

Beach find 
I found this fossil on the North Norfolk Coast(England) a few years ago. I've been using it as a paper weight and often wondered what it actually was? …

Cinci road cut 
I found a fossil in road cut inside the I-275 bypass in Cincinnati OH (Ordovician period). Looks like chili pepper. Any ideas? if so please email me …

dont know 
Found this in a 17ft. Hole i dug

Bone/claw piece 
Found this and looks like a bone, claw piece or from a tail. Likely from Jurassic age rocks. Found in littoral zone on urban beach in Scarborough UK

Beach bone 
Found in 1973 on Wrightsville Beach NC. More rock than bone. 14" long and at the widest part 2.5".

Vertebrae from central Florida pic 2  
Sorry needed to add another pic of my fossil

Vertebrae from central Florida pic 2  
Sorry needed to add another pic of my fossil

Unknown vertebrae from central Florida. 
Found by my father years ago in central Florida in a spring pool. Looks like the lasts vertebrae before the tail begins. 7"to 8" long.5" high and wide. …

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Cool unknown  
Found in Lake Ozark missouri on a hill top with other large rock formations.

Fossil 1 - Myrick 
This was found in southeastern Georgia, USA. The striations are confusing on the exterior with bands of dark and light. We think it is a tooth. Small inset …

unknown jaw -re submit different view 
just resubmitting different view showing tooth socket

hexagonal 
small fragment on a rock found on Saltdean beach, southeast England.

Unknown  
Found this specimen in Central Florida in a phosphate mine amongst many other fossils. By the color as seen in the picture, it is a mustard yellow/brown …

Sherry's fossil 
While building a home in Cheboygan, Michigan moving a lot of earth found this rock.

Sneaky snake 
While walking on a dirt path in Crowley's ridge, Arkansas. We could barely see the scales, the rest of the rock was under a root and mud. We believe this …

Apple of my Eye 
I found "Apple of my Eye" under and Apple tree near the Rims of Billings, MT and wish to identify the era. All I've heard is that Billings was a lake …

Tiny Eel-Like Fossil? 
Hi there, This summer I received a free bag of stones while attending an Oregon rock and gem show. I just got around to sorting them out and found this. …

Nut like? 
I found this in southeast Utah. It was in a late Cretaceous pebble conglomerate near Hovenweep National Monument. I found it securely attached to the conglomerate …

toothlike 
found in an area were a lower jaw and other various fossilized bones and coral were.there are actually three of these shapes side by side hard to see …

Animal Tooth 
This tooth was found about 25 years ago on a beach in New Jersey. Size is about an inch for both length & width. I believe it's an herbavoire tooth, but …

woody 
another find in the woods it resembles fossilized wood with the layers of growth showing on the edge similar to pine.

gathering 
another fishing find on a hill side near a wash out or flood are.when i cleaned the caked on grit it revealed .what looks to be a single piece of coral …

strange formation  
another odd find unsure with this one .

shell  
was in a box of native american artifacts i was given years ago it looks to be some sort of brachiopod.

shell  
was in a box of native american artifacts i was given years ago it looks to be some sort of brachiopod.

abstract 
SENDING SIDE VIEW MAY GIVE MORE DETAIL RE SUBMITTING.

Unknown? 
Found in a washout in SW Indiana. Approximately 40 min. NE of Evansville.

Unknown? 
These were found in a creek in SW Indiana. It is located about 40 min. NE of Evansville.

unknown shell 
found this one quite a few years ago figured maybe a type of brachiopod?

little critter 
had this one since childhood never new what it was.

shell  
had this one for awhile figured it was some kind of sea creature.

from beneath 
another interesting find looked like a bowl filled with small honeycombed shapes.with a solid clump on the under side it was interesting looking.i believe …

Trace Fossil? 
I have a large collection of these and need help in identifying. They were found in south central pennsylvania. I at first thought possibly worm burrows? …

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Cox bone find 
The pictures here show what appears to be a fossilized bone of some size. We have no way of knowing what it is or if it is in fact a fossil of some sort. …

facelike 
found with various other small bone like fossils it resembles a small face of some creature with blueish and green colouration in it.

abstract 
another odd find in the woods looks like coral in a way but almost has jointed looking sections.

stumpy 
another hill side find it resembles a reptilian like look with the leg and claw with scale texture.

heavy load 
found this one while looking for fossils in the woods.found it at the bottom of a wash out after heavy rain.i believe it to be more fossilized dino turd …

bonelike 
found while fishing with the kids we always look for unusual shapes in the shore lines.this one was alone no other types of bone like shapes around.

brain teaser 
found this fossil along with the last jaw pictures i sent resembles it quite well with texture and colour possibly somewhat a flattened skull piece.

old turd 
found while looking for fossils with the kids it had a poo like formation.apon closer inspection i noticed tiny bone pieces in it so i figured an old dino …

mystery finger 
found while exploring a hill top and side.it looks like a finger with a bone showing at the end and what looks like a finger nail.it lifts out of the …

unknown jaw 
found while digging a fire pit with various other pieces.

timeless 
found while digging test holes for soil samples about 6-8 feet down.

?????fish?????? 
Found in my back yard at 10,000ft elv in the Spanish peaks of sothern Colorado its 15inches long and it still has skin in places i believe

re submitting  
Found out that we were swimming in lake Wilson, Wilson Kansas when this was found. sandstone.

Don't know? 
I was given this by a friend who got it from a friend. I really want to know what it is, can you help me please.

feathers or leafs?  
I Showed my friend the fossil I send y'all last night and she got this out of her sewing kit to share, she found it in the woods as a kid could not remember …

flower or bug 
found swimming in Kansas, Seems to be an imprint of a flower or smashed bug in sandstone,the stone its in is vary thin.

What is it 
Found at Lake Whitney, Texas

Shark teeth? 
Found it In the Lake Ontario regions. It have white stuff all over

Unkown 
I have four fossils. Any idea which plants they are? Oakwolves@gmail.com

Unknown 
Came across this find and would like to know what it possibly could be

Saudi Arabian Desert Fossil 
Found this outside of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in the early 80's.

Need help to identification 
I found it on the mountein.

not sure what I found 
while looking for geodes I stumbled on this

croc 
???

Phylum Arthropoda? 
I don't really know what it is. I took Geology, but I got a really bad grade, ha ha! Just because I'm not good at geology,but I really am fascinated by …

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Trilobite 
I found it in the clackamas river in Oregon. That's all I know about it.

Got no idea. 
Bought a box of rocks and found it in box. It's about the size of the Palm of your hand. I would love to find out what kind of stone it is.

gem fossil 
found out of a iron sandstone concerstion out of colorado the soft bodie parts are replace by minaral i belive it pirite and siderite my studieds lead …

Fish ribcage 
My father found this in Warsaw Kentucky, we are struggling to identify this creature.

rock wall finds  
the small dark piece is smooth & has a define ridge on it, the longer piece is crumbly & fragile i thought maybe bark but it's probably something

Wellington unknown #1 
This fossil was found in northern Colorado, close to the foothills of the Rockies. It was found in a field that has been farmed for years, but has seen …

Crinoid? 
Hi I found this large rock in the 1950s as a child in Staten Island NY. It had a small imprint of a shell on the outside. I recognized it as a fossil …

not sure 
found it by a river near where i live

We are not sure. I think possibly an egg ? 
Michelle found this at a near by lake. It was imbedded in soft rock with other small fossiles

We think its a tooth from a fish 
We were walking on the shore of a lake, which was very low due to lack of rain, in the sand we found numerous teeth like this one and many sharp teeth …

I thought it might be teeth, but Michelle seems to think it is a tube of some type of squid 
Michelle and I were exploring an abandoned quarry and she found these. Michelle is the rock hound here. Her collection is amazing. I hope we can share …

egg 
i found it at a thrift store for fifty cents and i thought it was some kind of fossil material and was hoping someone could tell me what it is

Linda's bone 
I dug up someone's discarded rock collection in an empty field in Fresno, CA. 10 years ago. There were fossils, crystals and abalone shells. Had to dig …

Scotty 
This was located on a shingle beach at Seaford East Sussex today.

Spencer's Fossil 
I know nothing much about such things and seek an opinion of the item in hand. It was found in Missouri and know one so far has any real ideas. Please …

Egg Shape 
Found in a small creek in Caldwell County, Missouri. I haven't found anything similar in the creek.

Dads Rock 
Hi, My Dad found this rock/fossil in Arizona and gave it to me. I am so curious as to what it is. Your attempt to identify will be greatly appreciated. …

Not even sure it is a fossil 
Found in shale bank on the beach.

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There are some great website for viewing photos of the different species. Here are just a couple that show off many different types from the same order:Per Hansson has a fabulous collection of trilobite pictures and try Geoscience Enterprises for fossil identification of crinoids.

Of course, there are lots of books that will help you with fossil identification of your favorite fossil. These are some that we use. I recommend them because they are easy to read, inexpensive, and they are readily available.

1. Simon & Schuster's Guide to Fossils.
2. Field Guide to North American Fossils from the Audubon Society.
3. For children: An Usborne Guide Rocks & Fossils

Armed with some great resources and your growing interest, you’ll be impressing your friends as you introduce them to your collection’s specimens by name. Be careful, though, they just might think you need to find some modern animal friends to keep you company!

For help with fossil identification click this link



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