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What Are Fossils?
Where Are Fossils?
Where to Look for Fossils
How to Look for Fossils
Discover What You Have

Dinosaur Dig

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How to Look for Fossils

Bowhead whale skull
A Bowhead whale skull uncovered by wind and weather, and the careful work of expert fossil finders.

Looking for fossils can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Knowing where to look narrows the field. Now, what do you look for? Remember fossils can be bones, leaves, footprints, any trace of ancient life.

Clue #5: Look for unusual shapes and textures -- objects that are clearly different from the rock around them.


Finding Fossils Tips
Take your time: work slowly and carefully when uncovering and cleaning fossils.
Handle your find with care; it may be fragile.
Take note of your location; you may have made an important discovery.

Fossil finding tools are neither fancy nor expensive. Shown here are typical tools for a paleontologist in the field. A butterknife and a toothbrush may be all you need.


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