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What’s This?

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When I first started fossil hunting, I went to various sites and looked at examples of Ordovician fossils I would likely find. The problem was that they were all perfectly prepared specimens–NOT what you find in the field! I was looking for a trilobite that looked like the specimen on the page–I know, not so smart.

The more I learn; I realize the less I know. 🙂

So as I learn and collect, I thought it may be helpful for you to see what different fossils look like in their found state to “train your eye”. With that in mind, over time, I am going to create a series of posts of examples of different categories of fossils you are likely to find. I’m going to create basic categories, and as I put posts up, the links to the posts will be highlighted here. But not ALL, so please go to the category search menu on the sidebar. Do a search for say trilobites and you will pull up lots more examples. Or do a category search.

And if you have a better idea, please let me know! And since I am far from a perfect person, PLEASE let me know if I have made a mistaken identification!

Herb, from, suggested this site (DryDredgers) through this portal – a must go for ID! Just put this in your favorites and take the time to get familiar with their site, you won’t regret it!

Bluff Country Fossils for Dummies Like Me!


What’s this? Gastropods


What’s this? Receptaculitids aka Sunflower Sponges


What’s This?! Cephalopods

PDF Link for Identifying Cephalopods

Brachiopods & Bivalves




What’s This?! Crinoids


Conulariid! A Fairly Rare Find!


So, You Think You Found A Trilobite – Caleb Scheer local trilobite expert

DryDredger’s Trilobites Parts Identification – EXCELLENT!

Trilobite Parts Identification

Trilobite Hash Plate Labeled

Bumastus sp. trilobite

Flexicalymene Trilobites

Huge Trilobite Eye!

Trilobite Faunal Lists for Southeast Minnesota

Trace Fossils – Aren’t the fossils themselves, but traces of the fossils.

Pseudo-fossils – Look like fossils but aren’t.

The Imitators – Look like fossils but aren’t.

Remnant Formations from Caves

Trilobite Parts & Species Refresher – 2 hash plates labeled by Caleb Scheer


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