Wednesday, March 20, 2013

500th blog post - A new method for me to find fossils

I noticed today that this will be my 500th post on the blog. That means I've been regularly posting to this blog for the last three years. Well, not a full three years since my first post was on May 22nd, 2010. This is an outlet for me to express my interest in fossils, catalog my collection and coalesce my thoughts and research into a useful medium.  Here's to the next 500 posts (and many more)!

I'm not going to wallow in self congratulatory pomp and circumstance. Instead I have some new toys to help me find fossils. It's a set of 6" diameter sieves to screen soil and eroded rock for microfossils.

There are six screens plus a bottom to catch the water/leftover residue. Each screen has a mesh with a different number of spaces per inch. They start with a #5 screen (fave holes per inch)...

... and include a #10 screen...

... a #35 screen...

... a #60 screen...

... a #120 screen...

... and a #230 screen (230 holes per inch)...

Through experimentation I have found that I don't really need the first two or last two screens for what I'm after. I generally only use the #35 and #60 screens to look for Ostracod fossils. Anything that the larger spaced screens would catch would be spotted with my naked eye while anything that fell through to the smaller screens would need a legitimate microscope to view.

I did buy a stereo microscope but it only has a 10x and 30x settings with eye pieces that can alter the magnification to 20x and 60x.

It's called a dissecting microscope and is, like the name states, more often used for examining dissected animal, plant and soil samples.

I also bought a rig and adapter so that I can use my camera to take pictures of my finds.

So expect to see more microfossils show up in my blog posts in the future. Right now I am sorting through residues from the Silica Shale, Arkona Shale & Centerfield Mbr. of the Ludlowville Fm. It is a nice activity to do in the winter when you can't go outside and collect macrofossils.


  1. SWEET! Congratulations on your 500th post... now go have some sushi. I know what kind of work it is to get to that milestone.

    Look forward to seeing images from your microfossil research. Keep on posting!

  2. Congratulations! :) Keep on posting!

  3. Thanks for the comments, I have plenty more posts coming! :)