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Re: CNN.com - Finding trilobites by the bucket, for free - Jun. 26, 2003

Looks like some glitch kept his post from coming through...

Went and fund the link:


SYLVANIA, Ohio (AP) -- A blur of platted hair, arms and legs dives into
the pile of dirt and rocks, searching for hidden treasures.

It takes only seconds before the first high-pitched voice screams, "I
found one!"

"Hey, here's another one," cries out a young girl. "I'm finding lots of

Within minutes, plastic freezer bags are stuffed with chunks of gray rock
containing trilobites, brachiopods and horn corals -- Devonian-era fossils
from creatures that inhabited the Earth 350 million years ago.

Fossil Park, which has been built in an abandoned 5-acre (2-hectare)
quarry about 10 miles (16 kilometers) from downtown Toledo, is open for
its second full season this summer.

And visitors can keep what they find. 

Madrzykowski said the park is one of three in the United States that he
knows of that are open to the public for fossil-hunting. The others are in
Rockford, Iowa, and Hamburg, New York.

Fossil Park is open on weekends through October 19, and admission is free.

There are two digging pits at the bottom of the quarry where visitors sift
through piles of dirt and rock. Finding a fossil takes very little work
and getting a little dirty is unavoidable.

Many pieces of shale contain at least a partial fossil, though many have
complete impressions and are easy to recognize. Some can be found by
breaking the rock by hand. 
 Employees at a nearby privately owned quarry approached the park district
about creating the fossil park. They had been overwhelmed with requests
from groups wanting to look for fossils found in the shale at their

Nearly all of the requests had to be turned down because of safety
reasons, said Jeff Stoll, an environmental engineer with Hanson Aggregate
Midwest Inc., which operates the stone quarry.

The company, which donated the land for the park, trucks the rocks and
fossils there from its quarries. Stoll said the quarry has a stockpile of
several thousand tons of shale full of fossils that should last for