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Index fossils

One of the things I have to continuously learn about is Index fossils. Index fossils are species of plants, invertebrates, vertebrates, etc., that show up in specific geological formations. They are usually the most abundant fossil in that formation. Index fossils are invaluable when collecting in areas where fossils from several overlying formations have become mixed together. This occurs often where rivers, or streams, have washed out the banks and deposited several "ages" of fossils together. Erosion of formations can cause fossils from difference overlying formations to collect at the bottom of hillsides. Mining can cause different formations to be piled together. These are just a few examples of how fossils can end up being mixed together in a smorgasbord of ages. So before I go to a new area to collect I study each formation I'll encounter for expected "Index fossils". If I find an interesting fossil I'll look for Indexers attached with the matrix. If the fossil is by itself, I'll look for attached matrix. Then I'll look for the formation that matches that. Once I find a suitable match I'll look for an "Index fossil". I'll then take the Index fossil and put it in a separate bag with information attached. This will go with the original fossil I found. Now I have proof of the age of the specimen. Without this support information the fossil has little value scientifically. The local museum has numerous drawers of fossils collected as far back as the early 1800s. They're interesting, but have not been published because of poor, or no, scientific information being attached. So before you take your next fossil trip, try to find out what the Index fossils are for that region. Call the local museum and talk to people who have collected in the same area. They can even send you pictures via the Internet. Or at least give you the scientific names so that you can look it up yourself. When you return home you should add information to your data sheet about what Index fossils you found. This will give your collection scientific value. Knowing this now, how would you rate the value your fossil collection? If you passed away unexpectedly (Hopefully, falling from a cliff with an 8 inch Megalodon clutched to your breast) would your hard earned collection be deemed "useless" by the local museum? Take a little time to do your homework, and then your paperwork, the next time you plan a fossil trip. And have something in writing about the disposition of your collection. Tell them that the broken ones are to be sent to the Paleobum!
Location Berkeley County, South Carolina, USA

ID722
Memberpaleobum
Date Added12/3/2006

Here are a few turritella from the local Oligocene. Three can be found in the Ashley Formation. One can be found in the Ashley, and overlying Chandler Bridge, formations. One can only be found in the Chandler Bridge formation. Time to do your homework?
This photo was taken of a private collection at Edisto Beach, South Carolina. The collector had made a small museum out of his sunroom. The majority of his material was from Pleistocene fossils that had washed up on the local beach. Some of the very rare pieces were cast by the local museum and included in a Pleistocene publication. When he died a few years back the collection was divided among the family members. To date none of the fossils have been donated to any museum. The detailed data she
  

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Comments
Not Turritella - 3/25/2014
Reviewer : Naturmon from South Carolina United States
Total Rating : 9
Hey Paleobum.........just saw this posting by you from back in 2006......the gastropods are not Turritella but are Wentletraps, Epitonium spp. 4 different species......contact me for more info With regards. Naturmon Content Quality : 9 of 10

Drool Quotient : 9 of 10

Picture Quality : 9 of 10
VOTE! Agree  Disagree  0 of 1 voters agreed.


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