Fossil Mania {Glen Rose}

Nicholas and Stuart headed north to Oklahoma for a primitive campout while Rachel and I headed south to Glen Rose for Fossil Mania!

We visited with lots of vendors showing off their cool fossil and mineral collections.  Rachel and I were impressed with this giant ammonite.

An ammonite is an extinct marine mollusk in the Cephalopoda class.  Here is a collection of halved and polished ammonites.  I don't think I would do this to an ammonite that I found but they do look really cool like this.

Another one of my favorite fossils is the trilobite which is an extinct marine arthropod of the class Trilobita.  It was neat seeing so many large ones all together.

Of course, every fossil show is going to have a little coprolite on display.  Coprolite is fossilized poop.  The name coprolite comes from the Greek words, "kopros" which means dung and "lithos" which means stone.  Yep, stony dung.

There were some unusual fossils like mosasaur vertebra and plesiosaur paddle bone.

This is a cool display of lots of ammonite embedded in a matrix.

A lot of vendors offered free fossils and rocks for kids.  This table had a bucket of sand that kids could dig through and keep the first thing they found.

Rachel knew what this was as soon as she found it - a piece of a nice sized ammonite!  She was so excited to have her own ammonite!

Here is a big trilobite.  The description on the card sounds like it is authentic but it almost seems like too perfect of a specimen to be real.

What we were most excited about at Fossil Mania was the opportunity to go on a fossil hunt in Glen Rose with the Dallas Paleontological Society!  We met the group in front of the exhibit hall and we were all given pink flags to tie to our antenna so we would know who was included in our caravan to the fossil site.

We lined up.  There was quite a line behind us as well.  I was a little worried about getting separated from the group but it all went well.

We made it to the fossil site, which was just an outcropping on the side of a road!  Sometimes those are the best places to find fossils!

We were equipped with a trowel and rock hammer.  Rachel, of course, had to start with the tools.  But you see all of those rocks on top of the ground around her?  There were  plenty of fossils to be found just by looking through those rocks.  No tools were actually needed.

We found quite a few neat fossils.  HERE are some fossils typically found in Glen Rose.  The hunt leaders were from the Dallas Paleontological Society and they were really helpful.  They talked to us about the types of fossils we might find and what to look for.  They even found some fossils on their own and passed them out to the kids.

After the fossil hunt I thought we'd stop by Big Rocks Park before heading home.  We first visited Big Rocks when Rachel was two years old so she doesn't remember it. 

She loved it!

Big Rocks Park gets its name from the giant rocks gathered together on the Paluxy River.

It is fun to climb the rocks and jump from rock to rock.  It's a natural parkour course!

There are crevices and caves between and under rocks and little pathways between them.  Lots of places to explore and hide.

And of course, lots of tall places to conquer as you rule the world from high above.

This is a cool little spot to sit and rest under two big rocks!

Following the rocks you will work your way down to the Paluxy River.  It is usually shallow enough to walk through.

And....dig mud out of!  Fortunately I know my kid enough to bring several towels, a change of clothes, and a spare pair of shoes!

Rachel wandered the river and played around the small waterfalls. 

It is such a beautiful spot to visit.  I just wish Nicholas had been with us.  He loves it here too!

It was getting late and we cleaned up and grabbed a bite to eat before heading home.  But all during dinner, Rachel kept asking to go back to Fossil Mania because they were having an auction and she wanted to see what that was all about.  The auction didn't start until late and we had a good hour and half drive home.  But somehow she suckered me into staying.  She was so excited to get her bid number.  I explained how to use it and said that she couldn't bid on something without my approval!

She won some shark teeth and then got into a bidding war with someone over this giant ammonite.  Once the lady saw who she was bidding against, she let Rachel win the auction.  Rachel was so excited!  Mama was too :)

Here are my fossils from the hunt after I had a chance to clean them up. 

There are several sea urchins like this one.

This is a Leopard Rock.  Cool looking!

This is a type of extinct oyster.

This one is called "Devils Toe" but it is really the oyster Texigryphea.

This is a cool spiral gastropod called Tylosoma tumidium.

We had such a great time at Fossil Mania and enjoyed learning from the Dallas Paleontological Society so much that we signed up for a one year membership.  They have monthly meetings and frequent field trips.  I've even signed the kids up for a special educational program through the group called the P.I.T. Crew (Paleontologists In Training).

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