Fossil, Mineral, and Rock Collecting


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Fossils

They may appear like creatures from another planet but many fossils are similar to organisms found in present-day ecosystems.

 
wolf rocks vista in forbes state forest

 Minerals and Rocks

Rocks and minerals serve as the base for Pennsylvania’s diverse landscape as well as the focal point for its rich economic heritage.

 
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State Fossil

Information on the State Fossil

 

Pennsylvania is rich in geological variety.  Preserved Paleozoic sedimentary rocks span about 300 million years of the earth’s history.  Preserved Mesozoic rocks span about 40 million years.  All three rocks classes – igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary – are present in the state. More than 275 mineral species have been verified from Pennsylvania, and thousands of fossil plant and animal species have been found.  Thus, Pennsylvania provides lots of opportunities to develop an interesting collection of rocks, minerals, and fossils. 

The Pennsylvania Geological Survey has a long history of providing educational materials on fossils, rocks, and minerals.  Books on collecting localities have been some of the Survey’s most popular publications.  Unfortunately, the listing of places to collect fossils and minerals, which were mostly on private property or dangerously close to busy highways, has caused problems, from safety issues to over-collecting, at these popular sites.  Because of such troubles, and out of respect for the private landowner, the Survey suspended the publication of such documents.