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.
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.
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
Nice collection tabfish. Is the first one Devonian age?
Think so but no real id, have you any ideas for a name.
Hi. I've attached an image of an identification sheet of the species age ect
Thanks for that people; this is helpful, it feels wrong to get rid of any of the fossils without taking advice.
Tabfish: To me, most of the fossils are not immediately identifiable as whatever they are. So here are some pictures that may be of interest.
This fossil is aprox 10" by 11", when it was removed from its box i was a little heavy handed and the two stick things that are next to the main fossil used to be attached and sticking out of the main fossil body ( a bit like a pin cusion with only 4 pin on it). These stick things are very brittle, however the main fossil is not, it is more sandstone with what looks like flakes of silver.
These two fossils look like the same sort of plant or other thing. The first is 15" by 9" and the second is 9"by 6". The stones are a sort of gray sand stone that sparkles with silver flakes. I would say these weigh a lot more than sandstone though.
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.
Incidentley, should I clean the mud from the top piece and glue the bits together? It would look fantastic as an orniment.
Thanks for your help and stay tuned there are plenty more to get through.
I would reattach any pieces that will fit back together.
Get a course paint brush and clean the joints, do a 'dry fit' and see if the pieces fit with very little joint showing, if all is good then apply glue but be carefull not to dislodge any small pieces of matrix that will spoil a good fit.
Hope this helps.
Here is more fossil pictures
This would be a handy fossil to identify as it is a small piece of a 4ft by 2ft trunk of something that i have. Looks like and is roughly the same dimentions as a very flufed up (black tree patterned) pillow.
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.
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.
I don’t know if all the fossils came from the same place. The large piece of tree trunk I have is definitely that, as soon as you said tree trunk it became obviously that is what it is (god knows how he got it home, let alone got it into a wooden crate). The pictures in this post are all single fossils except the one, which looks like a ducks head and the one with two fossils, the pictures directly after these are reverse views. I hope you guys don't get sick of this, I have so many, and by the sound of things I should keep most of them. What should I do with the others? Should I offer them to a museum? If so, which museums would be interested in which fossils? Perhaps I should sell the whole collection to someone who will appreciate them better than I can, are they even sellable? I do not think I will ever know enough about them to truly value them, as someone else might. I am considering just keeping 2 or 3 of the fossils I like and displaying them in my living room. I am not sure I should keep a shed full of them, with no long-term plan, other than long-term storage in boxes in the garden shed. Incidentally, there is what looks like a de-humidifier gadget in beside the fossils should this be on all the time or only in the summer? Thanks for the advice.
Mean't to say that the thing that looks like a giant blade of grass fitted together perfectly, except for the very top piece, which is still covered in hard mud. How do i take the mud off without damaging the fossil?
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: Â£3-Â£5
Small, but well preserved: Â£5-Â£8
Small, very well preserved: Â£8-Â£10
Medium, not well preserved: Â£4-Â£6.50
Medium, but well preserved: Â£9-Â£12
Medium, very well preserved: Â£12-Â£13.50
Large (6" or over), but not well preserved: Â£5-Â£7.50
Large, well preserved: Â£14-Â£17
Large, very well preserved: Â£18-Â£20
Extra large (10" plus): if very well preserved, up to Â£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 Â£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 Â£5, maybe. Pic5 is calamites stems. They are probably worth Â£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.
Oops, sorry for some reason an A appeared in front of every pound sign.
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!
I have decided to keep 20 of the ones I like best, sell any that are worth selling and the rest I am going to divide into boxes and donate to the local high schools, if they are interested. The pictures below are of some colourful fossils and some fragile ones. The pictures where the fossils looks gray are shining with silver flakes (blobs through a magnifier) Where there is an X above a picture, the picture immediately below is a reverse view. An X followed by a number means there is that many pictures of the same fossil.
Last picture for today (unless you have had enough??) I would still like to identify as many as i can?? The picture below is possably of shells (they were in a box labeled possable shells). I also have a large amount of other objects which look simmilar to these in size and shape. The difference is these are made of sandstone and the others look like the sea has polished them. Any idea what they could be??
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I hope you carry on from your grandad, because I think some of your specimens need a bit more preperation or consolidation.
But another way to look at it is - if it's in your hand then it's yours! and you can get advice on how to look after them.
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.
Yes, the sponge bob stone smells of rotten eggs when you tap them together. How would i find out how to prepare or consolidate them? My grandfather has arthritic hands and although this never stoped him collecting it did limit what he was able to do with them. So far i have only found one piece of written instruction and all it says is "no detergent or glue, other than pva and only if completley nessessary".
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.
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
And loads more fossil wood
I'll post the images of them tomorrow. Hopefully they will help you ID your fossils.
Hi. Here are my finds from yesterday.
Here are the species:
Middle:huge, complete trigonocarpus nut
Right: fossil wood pieces (I found loads more but I just kept a few)
Hi again. I said they were my finds from yesterday but I meant to put Saturday.
I agree with your grandad because he probably had experiance of preserving them because of his instructions.
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.
I think I may have a whole shoe box of trigonocarpus nut or nuts from some other plants. I will dig them out and show you. The two fossils, pictured below, are 2.5 ft tall and roughly 1ft accross. They were in his garden displayed like standing stones. Any idea what these are? and should I keep them? they are solid pieces of fossil.
Need a close up of the surface on the rock.
Please take a close up of any features.
Need to see the shoe box full of fossil nuts as well.
Your grandad had some great finds.