2018 – Fossil Boot Camp 101

Stones ‘n Bones reached more than 40 community members interested in the introductory Fossil Boot Camp classes offered to the Cañon City Geology Club (CCGC) and to the PCC Mini-College in March of 2018. Students with no familiarity with fossils joined others who had already been bitten by the fossil bug in a morning of fossil immersion. Some students take the class over and over. Many request a Fossil Boot Camp 102, which we are working on.

CCGC members graduated from Fossil Boot Camp

In Fossil Boot Camp, students get hands experience with 18 different fossils in their own fossil kits, learning the anatomy, diversity, age, and importance of these creatures of the past.

In addition to the fossil kits and lockers, participants study the Stones ‘n Bones fossil collection with emphasis on illustrating ammonite sutures, trilobite genal spines, the serrations on a 4.25″ megaladon tooth, the cellular structure of  dinosaur bones (complete with legal papers from the State Paleontologist’s desk), and polished and unpolished Wyoming turritella agate. Details of the familiar snail’s intricate anatomy helps students appreciate these common creatures.

CCGC members immersed in fossils
PCC Mini-college students practicing with their loupes
Mini-college Fossil Boot Camp
A sample of the Stones n Bones fossil collection

Fossils aren’t just a fascinating hobby; they provide information on our ancient landscape through their contribution to the study of Paleogeography, which determines the location of continents and ocean basins in Deep Time. Similarities in trilobite species have supported the reconstruction of past continental  positions due to plate tectonics, such as the physical proximity of Oklahoma and Morocco 380 million years ago. The use of fossils in Biostratigraphy aids in the correlation of rock strata in widely diverse locations and is sometimes the only way to age certain rock layers.

Fossil kit for individual study

Responsible collecting is emphasized, with focus placed on protecting our fossil resources and the importance of documenting fossil collections to preserve their scientific value. But the most important take-away is an appreciation of these rare and fragile creatures that we have the good fortune and opportunity to study and honor

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