Magical Fossils

There’s nothing more magical than finding a shiny shell and knowing you’re the first person to have seen it for 150 million years.”

David Attenborough, talking about hunting for fossils. 

My first fossil discovery wasn’t shiny at all, or a shell, but rather the remains of plant life embedded in a rock wall of slate and sandstone. fossil hunting with dad in the OkanoganThese little pieces of prehistoric matter hold magic within them and have inspired several paintings. Fossils from the OkanoganWith fossilized ‘ammolites’, the mother-of-pearl nacre of certain types of ammonites turns brilliant green, blue, red and gold as it ages. This fossil Ammolite was found in a shop in Banff, Canada, possibly by a friend of mine who once showed me a huge one he had found in the bed of his pick-up truck. Ammonite fossil in a gem store in BanffMy cousin (who may have inherited these same fossil-hunting genes) took me to her favourite fossil-hunting beach in Denmark. Although I didn’t find any I got to see these fossil echinoids collected by a friend of hers, a form of flint. From the patterns on the stones it appears to me that these ancient creatures must be related to modern-day sea urchins.Flint fossil echinoids at my cousin's friend's garden in Odense, DenmarkSpeaking of fossil-hunting genes I saw these flints piled up in a window in my my dad’s cousin’s house, the one in the centre is a fossil.Flint tools and a flint fossil at Rubenlund, my dad's Uncle Eric's place where he worked for a summerFossils in the Prehistoric ‘oddball’ Museum on the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland. Fossils in the Prehistoric ‘oddball’ Museum on the Dingle Peninsula in IrelandFossil trilobite.Fossil trilobyte in a gem store in BanffFossil fish.
Fossil fish in a gem store in BanffSome petrified palm tree wood from Myanmar.
Palm fossils from MyanmarMore of the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Magical.

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6 responses to “Magical Fossils

  1. A fantastic quote – that really makes me shiver…he has a way with words, David Attenborough! And your examples show the magic – we can find ourselves! I used to chase fossils when I was a child, we have quite some of them in a quarry nearby.

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