Collecting Plant Fossils in Indiana (PA-05)
Indiana has many fossil-bearing sedimentary rocks. Of particular interest are the coal-measure deposits, which are extremely rich in plant fossils. These are the sediments deposited ruing the Pennsylvanian Period of the Paleozoic Era. In Indiana these rocks are found only in the southwestern part. The fossils are the remains of plant materials that accumulated in vast, fetid swamps covering much of the area more than 270 million years ago.

The best localities for hunting plant fossils are areas that recently have been stripped for cola and places where the piles of cast overburden can be searched before they are leveled. Most collectors look for somewhat flattened, egg-shaped concretions. These concretions are easily cracked open when struck with a hammer on the edge of the long axis. Many contain beautifully preserved plant fossils; some may contain insects of small crustaceans.

Our Hoosier State Beneath Us: Paleontology


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