Wherever you are, you might be standing on fossils. Think about it. Fossils are the preserved remains of past life on earth. Every plant, every animal, every fungus, every bacterium eventually dies. If they get buried and preserved, fossils are formed.
So much out there! Fossils can be mineralized bones, teeth, shells, wood, or actual unaltered material from an organism. Fossils can take the form of frozen mammoth flesh, bones. eggs, nests, footprints, leaf impressions, burrows, and more are examples of fossils.
The name fossil comes from the Latin word fossus, which means "something dug up". Many fossils are from extinct groups, whether that be a small group such as a species, or a much larger including a family, super family, class or phylum. But there are no age requirements on a findings being called fossils. The probability of a deceased organism undergoing fossilization and being preserved is a very rare event that can only occur under various unlikely circumstances. But still, there are so many types of fossils out there yet to be uncovered.
Why collect fossils? Well, who doesnt want a dinosaur egg in their living room. Or a necklace of shark teeth. There are so many fun fossils and castings of fossils out there, collecting fossils is a unique hobby. I find the diversity of fossils fascinating. In my collection I have Trilobite fossils, sabercat fossils, dragonfly fossils, bird fossils, fossil fish, fossil ammonites, mosasaur fossils, crinoid fossils and many other fossils.
Most fossils are found in sedimentary rock, which is made of sand, silt and mud. Sediments are often carried in water, and deposited in layers or strata. So people who hunt for fossils look for rock that is stratified. The oldest known fossils are usually considered to be stromatolites. These fossils are considered to be 3.5 billion years old. Just think of all that's happened in the past 3.5 billion years.
How do you start collecting your own fossils? The easiest way to start a personal collection of fossils is to go to an established dealer of fossils and other collectibles. Over time I have found Eagle National Mint to be one of the best providers of fossils.