Wednesday, 15 January 2014

The Great Fossil Hunt

So ever since I was a wee boy reading my first book about Dinosaurs I've been fascinated with the past. Those massive beasts stomping about being all cool blew my mind (and still does) and I always wanted to find one.. living (or much more likely) dead.

So it was a few months ago at work we talked about our bucket lists (the list of things to do before we die) and I put on it.. "Find a fossil" and being on holiday this week and just wanting to get out a bit more I decided that...

"I'm going on an adventure!"

Well an adventure might be a bit of an exaggeration but even so, something just clicked with me this week and I really wanted to go and find my own fossil (not of me mind, one I find myself).

Now first of all.. I'm incredibly aware that where I live (central coast of Scotland) I won't be finding a Stegosaurus anytime soon. I'm OK with that, in fact I'm happy to put my goal and aim at a Trilobite or something similar.. 250million years old.. Wow, that's pretty impressive to think an impression of something lasts that long.

So, I did a bit of research and discovered that Trilobites and the more curvy Ammonite are present in sedimentary rocks which are located in my local area (sorta). They are however not big nor easy to find. Again. I'm happy with that, I don't expect to find one on my first attempt.

What I didn't know when I set off on a trial run however was what exactly I should be looking for anyway. I'd read about people breaking open rocks to look for them so that's what I tried on my first run. Breaking rocks...

It wasn't successful. At all.

Broke open some rocks, looked at some bits and realised this would be a bigger task than I thought considering I have no idea what I'm doing.

Despite having a great day and enjoying some complete and utter peace of mind I returned empty handed but keen to find out more about what to do.

Some more research led me to deciding to forgo breaking open rocks and just looking for patterns and such on the 'outer shell' of rocks to see if anything was exposed. My thought was that I could look at the outside of three or four stones in the time it'd take to break open one at one part.

So off I headed again today down to the local beach, my Indiana Jones hat on (no whip nor ark of the covenant at my side) and this time I decided to try and document a bit more of what I find.

It wasn't the greatest of days but it was dry and again I enjoyed just the freedom and relaxing and found some shale which looks like it has patterns of some long dead plant matter.. No beasties found yet but I think if I keep looking and assuming I'm even looking at the right bloody stones I'll find something recognisable!

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