Ways that Fossils Can Be Preserved

by on August 24th, 2010
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It is essential to have geological information of the area where it is thought that there may be a fossil. Paleontologists look usually lands rich in sedimentary rocks. In areas of volcanic rocks is almost useless to look for fossils. To preserve fossils you must learn the interpretation of the geological area, proper collection procedures, proper labeling, and the procedures to preserve them.

To locate the sites of a given area, it is important to analyze the geological maps of the area around it. With these maps you can know where are the places where you can find sedimentary rocks that may contain fossils. And a study of the land is also conducted before the field trip, to decide what sites will be scanned, depending on the potential. The geologic map is a tool for locating fossils. The paleontologist and any person leaving the field must meet basic standards of nature conservation, but it must also take into account the importance of fossils unique evidence of Earth’s past.

Goggles and gloves are essential for collecting fossils. It is normal to dislodge rocks with a small hammer to find peak fragments. Excavation and collection will be easy to master but a lot of effort is required. Once found, the fossils are cleaned “in situ” with a stiff bristle brush. When starting a collection, you should always keep that in mind. You will need to consider a home treatment that is very effective. One treatment is to rub the fossil with a brush dipped in vinegar for areas where there is sand or stone. This treatment removes the limestone, but must be done carefully.

All findings should be properly labeled, indicating the location of the excavation and the stratum in which they appeared, and the date and name of the person who found them. The top marking and labeling must be considered for further preservation. The fossils are stored once properly labeled. The label must include the identification of the species (often quite difficult to identify), and the data recorded at the site where collected. You can assign a number to each copy and write in the fossil. You need to indicate the number for records. The same number must appear on the label.

Smaller fossils must be prepared on a special slide called slide excavated. This is a piece of glass a little thicker than those used in microscopy with the central part excavated. This part will have the fossils, and covered with a cover slip that is attached with glue that can be removed if desired. The label of the fossil will stick directly on the slide and there will be an image of a slide with two fossils excavated in the excavation. Traditional naturalist boxes are a good solution for small collections, but not enough to fossil assemblages, and also for parts of medium size or larger. In the laboratories of paleontology, fossils are stored in large cabinets with drawers or shelves with boxe.


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