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14472 Views 44 Replies Last post: Feb 28, 2014 10:24 PM by Tabfish RSS
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Jan 7, 2014 11:10 AM

Finally sorted through the garrage full of fossils i inherited.

I finally sorted through the garage full of fossils I inherited from my grandfather. I would be interested in any information about these fossils, as I do not have a clue. I collected fossils with my granddad as a child and he collected them since he was a child. Subsequently, when he passed away he left me a double garage full of them. I would like to know more about them, especially the ones that are worth keeping. I cannot keep all of them in my tiny (smaller than a double garage) flat, however, I have bought a 6 by 8 shed where I will keep some of them. I will post pictures of the fossils regularly. Identification info as well as advice about which fossils to keep and what I should do with the others would be greatly appreciated. The fossils (as far as I know) were all found in the central belt of Scotland. Thank you, in advance, for your help.

      • They are all plant fossils, appart from the redish ones, which looks like rocks, and the last picture is either a rock or a pice of coral/Bryozoa.  The spotty circular ones are the roots of lepidodendron (but definietly not the spotty ones which are on the last picture of the original post).



        Presuming they are all from the same location, they are from the carboniferous period, or maybe from the early Permian period.  The lepidodendron roots seem to be most common in Scotland, but where I live (in Yorkshire) they can be found, but very rarely.  The things that are very commonly found in South and West Yorkshire are Calamites fossils, which are in the group 'horsetail' plant, because the lines going down them look like a horses tail.


        There is also another common fossil which I find in West Yorkshire, Trigonocarpus nuts.  As far as I know, they can only be found in England and Some parts of America, which makes them a special fossil to find.




        The last picture is definietly a plant/wood stem, but I'm not sure on the exact species because it doesn't have much detail, but still a nice find. 







        The second photo on the third post is an imprint of a plant/wood fossil, but I'm not sure on the species because it is a very fade imprint.




        To see more pictures of lepidodendron roots, go to




        and then go to plants UK to find some very simular pieces.




        I hope this was helpful.

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      • Hi Kate

        Your grandad certainly knew what to collect as these are very good specimens, just going by what you have there he knew quality when he found it and were he found his fossils in the central belt of scotland is also an area were fossil fish are found and possibly trilobites.

        Sometimes you get a fossil fish you can see is a fish but usually they are a bit harder to id, so if you have a large amount of rocks/fossils don't throw away the less important looking fossils because thay could be very rare but hard to understand what you are looking at.

        Hope this helps you sort them out!

        Please post some more images.



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        • Hi Kate

          Just took an image of a fish from scotland that I have, hope this helps you with what to look for, the other images are more obviously fish but the best one is from Scotland.

          I, Scottish fish

          2, Brazillian fish

          3, German fish



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          • Nice collection tabfish.  Is the first one Devonian age?

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            • Sorry but I don't know what any of the new images are, but pic3 is probably a plant fossil.  The only ones I can really be sure about is the spotty ones on the original post which are lepidodendron roots.

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      • Wow!

        Some fantastic fossils that are hard to find.

        I don't know what the last three are unfortunately, it's always better to have a specimen in your hand to get a better assessment of it.

        I have a partial Wolly Mammoth Tooth that is very water worn and very hard to id but you have to hold it to realise what it is.



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      • The red one is almost Surtainly a fossil pine cone (I found one last year(I'll post some images later.).  The white one is either a pebble or a sauropod dinosaur stomach stone (but if it was found in the same place as the lepidodendron fossils it's just a pebble because it is too old(so I'd say it's just a pebble.)



        The big one is probably a lepidodendron trunk section.  I recently found a 6.5 foot wood section but it was too big to take home and I would not have space to put it (but I display it in the exact spot where I found it.)



        The rock which you said could be a fish isn't a fish, but at the top left of the white line there is a Calamites stem (the one with the lines going down it) and also loads more plant remainds.



        On the other post where you said you found a big blade of grass in 3 pieces, it isn't a blade of grass because grass didn't appear until much later on.  It is actually fossil wood, but still a nice find.




        I hope this was helpful.

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      • If you don't want them all I suggest you sell them, but only the ones that have a positive ID-: eg: the lepidodendron roots.  I don't think museums would want them because most museums only collect very rare fossils.  I suggest you keep the red pine cone because they are very rare (I have only ever found one of them.)  Lepidodendron roots can vary in value, depending on the quality and the size.  Here is the value of lepidodendron roots:


        Small, not very well preserved: £3-£5


        Small, but well preserved: £5-£8


        Small, very well preserved: £8-£10


        Medium, not well preserved: £4-£6.50

        Medium, but well preserved: £9-£12

        Medium, very well preserved: £12-£13.50


        Large (6" or over), but not well preserved: £5-£7.50

        Large, well preserved:  £14-£17

        Large, very well preserved: £18-£20



        Extra large (10" plus): if very well preserved, up to £30


        Also, if you have one very large-: eg 20", consider the preservation, not just the size.


        The big 4 foot one is probably not very valuable because it isn't very well preserved, but still could be worth £30 plus.



        Also consider the colours for the value of the fossils.  A dull coloured one won't be worth much, but the colourful one, eg the red pine cone will be worth a lot because of the rare colours (but don't sell it because I'm not 100 percent sure it is a pine cone- it could be a piece of lepidodendron.)

        Purple fossils are particularly rare.  I have only found one of them.  Clay tends to produce quite a lot of purple fossils.




        Also consider how stable the fossil is.  If it is crumbly and pieces are falling off it, I suggest you cover it with a very strong stransparent PVA glue (which I recently did  with one of my mammoth teeth because the sea had made one end very crumbly.)




        Some fossils also have hair cracks, which makes them way less valuable, even though, in my opinion it makes them look better because they look like they are going to fall into two pieces, but they are actually stable (I recently found a plant fossil which has a huge crack going down it, but it is still very strong.



        Also, a big thing you have to consider in terms of the value is have they got any repair or restoration.  If they have been repaired or restored it can half the value or even more, depending how much of the fossil has been restored or how many repairs it has (but I don't think any of yours will have any repairs or restoration because carboniferous fossils tend to be very strong, unlike the fossils from the KemKem basins in Morroco.)  It's probably because carboniferous rocks- eg the limestones are very strong , so it makes the fossils strong, too.





        Also it is very important to know where you can forget the most money for your fossils.  eBay, for example doesn't bring much money for fossils if you do it on the thing where the buyers bid, but of you put them on 'buy it now' you can ask for a price which you think it is the right price for the fossil.




        You also could send some to auction, but they may ask where they were found, so if you don't know the buyers may not pay as much.  I would suggest an online auction because then more people can see it word wide, rather than just a few people bidding for it .



        Also, if the fossils are filled with coal they won't be worth as much because it makes them more fragile and crumbly, but your fossils look to be very strong, so I don't think that would be a problem.




        I also suggest you polish some of your fossils with a transparent wood varnish (if they haven't already been varnished). Polishing them can bring out more deatails in the fossils, and therefore they are more valuable.  I varnished one of my trigonocarpus nuts today, and it now my faivorite find ever.  It can also make them more shiny and smooth.



        In your most recent post, they are mainly plant fossils, but they aren't worth as much as the Lepidodendron roots, although they still could be worth £5, maybe.  Pic5 is calamites stems.  They are probably worth £5, although I'm not sure because they are either flattened or they are negative imprints.





        So basically, if you sell your fossils, consider this:



        Are they a rare colour?



        Have they any restoration or repair?



        Are they in good condition?



        Are they a rare species?



        How big are they?






        I hope this was helpful.  Feel free to ask for some more fossils to ID if you want.

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      • Oops, sorry for some reason an A appeared in front of every pound sign.

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        • Hi Kate

          Personally if my grandad had left me all of these fossils I would at least keep the best ones.

          Another alternative is to take the rest to a dealer and swap the load you have for one item that you cannot find or is very expensive but nice.

          Keep the best!



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          • I agree with tabfish- keep the best ones.

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                    • The one which you said looks like an earth worm section is a plant fossil in the group cordinates, and the species is Artisia.  I'll post some images of some Artisia plant fossils which I found later.

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                    • Hi again.


                      I'll give you some info about Artisia plant fossils.


                      They lived in the carboniferous-the Permian period.




                      The lines are much bigger on one side than the other side




                      They are one of the rarer species of plant from the carboniferous period to find in good condition (I've only over found three keeper ones.)




                      They were relatively small plants (we know this because large trunks are never found (the two big ones which I have posted images of are the trunk, like yours.)





                      Where I live they are most common in the semi sandstones (I never find them in the clay.)





                      Not much is known about the species apart from the fact we know it was relatively small (something around as tall as a person (I think.)




                      The difference between Calamites and Artisia is the lines on Calamites go down and the lines on Artisia go across.





                      I don't think they can be found in Scotland (or at least I've never seen one from Scotland), but they can be found occasionally in Yorkshire, but they are almost always broken.





                      The lines are very fragile so if they are on the surface for a while they quickly get eroded (which is why it is good to go fossil hunting straight after it has been raining so the fossils don't erode.) Calamites fossils tend to not erode as quickly.





                      It is very rare to find them 3D; they are almost always found in a matrix and are flattened.)






                      They lived in the tropical rain forests and they probably lived near swamps.





                      They are most common in England, but even in England they are rare.





                      There could possibly be some of it's decendants living today.





                      It is in the group Cordinates










                      Apart from the facts I have said, there is not much more we know about Artisia.







                      In my opinion I think all carboniferous plants came extinct because of a volcanic eruption.

                      I think this because a lot of fossil wood I find are filled with micro crystals, which shows there was a volcano a long way away (I know it was a long way away because if it was closer to the volcanoes the crystals would be bigger) which covered the tropical forests with a deep layer of crystals, killing all of the plants.  Occasionally, I find slightly larger crystals in the sandstone.





                      The crystals from the huge eruption would have killed every living organism appart from animals which lived under ground, like worms.  For the amphibians and reptiles, for example, the crystals would have chocked them to death, and they could have got covered with a huge amount of rock, which would have burried them either alive or burried their bodies, if they already chocked, very much like Pompaii





                      The extreme heat and the high oxygen levels could have also made huge fires, burning all of the vegetation on the surface, but not the vegetation under all of the rocks .





                      Since crystals are found in the fossils, it proves there was some kind of volcanic eruption which killed many plants and animals.  After the eruption, a huge ice age probably would have occurred, which would have killed everything appart from micro organisms, which could then evolve into more complex forms of life, at first things like amphibians, and then they could have evolved into dinosaurs, and then they evolved into birds.





                      However, that is just my opinion on how many plants came extinct in the carboniferous period.





                      If you want to find some carboniferous fossils yourself, you have to know the right place to look for them.  A good place to looks for them is Fife, but in my opinion they are way more common in land.  If there is any where with natural rocks, it probably contains fossils, but only the right layers contain fossils.  Where I live, for example there is a huge hill, and there is no fossils at the top, but just a few metres lower down there is loads of fossils.



                      Clays are a good place to look for fossils, but only after it has rained.  In the summer, I didn't find any fossils in the clay, but now it is the winter I found 5 in 5 weeks.




                      Does your fossils contain crystals?


                      Here is my best Artisia plant fossils.



                      I hope this was helpful.

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                    • Hi agin.  I forgot to say- feel free to ask for the ID of more fossils.  Plant fossils is my strongest subject so I'll probably be able to make ID's for your other fossils.



                      I also forgot to say I suggest you keep the pine cone, the Artisia plant fossil and some of the lepidodendron roots.



                      I also forgot to say to find the best fossils you have to bring something like a trowel so you can remove the surface of the rock/mud and therefore it could reveal a new fossil, but don't dig holes or any thing because:


                      1. The fossils would be covered with mud and it's hard to spot them.

                      2. It is usually not allowed to dig big holes.

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                  • Hi Kate

                    The squashed corral looks to me to be a bone block, is there a tag or lable on the reverse?

                    Do you remember were he found it.



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                  • The two below look to be something similar to what we find on the Holderness (my 4 year old grandson calls it sponge bob stone) when you split it the smell of bad eggs is overpowering.

                    So it could be possibly of volcanic origin.



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                  • Hi Kate

                    I found a rock much like what your grandad collected, in my shed tonight.

                    I don't know if he came over to the Holderness coast but this is were I must have found my specimen.

                    I have attached an image of it below.

                    It is not a sponge fossil or a fossil at all, more of a volcanic creation.



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    • Don't think you should prep them because a lot of Carboniferous fossils (especially the ones which contain a lot of coal) are very crumbly.



      Where I live the rock doesn't have a weak point where the fossil is like on the Yorkshire Coast so if you tried to prep the rock into a square shape, for example it would probably break the fossils.



      Here are the reasons why carboniferous fossils can be fragile:



      They can contain very high amounts of coal, especially if they come from the carboniferous coal formation, which I think most of your fossils have come from, but I don't think the lepidodendron roots have.



      The pressure of the rocks can crush the fossils or make them very crumbly.





      Because of the age. The fossils from the carboniferous period will have already have been fossilised for hundreds of million years, so most of them will either break or become damaged when they are fossilised.




      You could varnish your fossils with any clear varnish, but don't put too much varnish on.





      I went fossil hunting yesterday and I've never found so many in one day.  It was pouring it down with rain, but the rain eroded the semi sandstone, so there were a lot of fossils on the surface.



      I found:



      A huge, complete trigonocarpus nut



      A Artisia plant fossil- one of the best ones I've ever found



      A pos+neg calamites




      My first ever calamites root




      Large crystals





      And loads more fossil wood




      I'll post the images of them tomorrow.  Hopefully they will help you ID your fossils.

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    • Hi Kate

      I agree with your grandad because he probably had experiance of preserving them because of his instructions.



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    • I'm buying this lepidodendron root of the internet today. It's a bit more worn than your pieces, but it's still a rare piece for Sheffield.

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