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Fossil-Treasures-of-Florida-Newsletter, Issue #0002 -- Does Fossil Color Matter?
August 04, 2009

Fossil Newsletter, Issue #0002 -- Does Fossil Color Matter?

August 4, 2009

In this Issue:

* Monster Fossil Snakes in Florida?
* Does Fossil Color Matter?
* What's New at

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Monster Fossil Snakes in Florida?

In Florida, there are 7 families of fossil snakes. There are large fossil Rattlesnake vertebrae from the Pleistocene Period that can be found regularly. Click here to read about Snake Fossils in Florida.

There are Eocene fossil Sea Snakes found in Florida's Fossil Record. There are large Constrictor fossilized snakes that can be found in Florida.
Click here for Monster Fossil Snakes in Columbia.

Does Fossil Color Matter?

I don’t know if it has much more scientific value, but fossils with color are at the top of my aesthetic “A List”. I hold fossils, with color, in the highest regard. They are one of the most desirable to collect. These prehistoric fossils, with striking color, in my opinion, rise above the average fossil and move into the realm of nature’s artwork. Beyond a trophy piece, with great size or dimension; fossils with color seem to transcend into gems of nature.

In fact, some fossils literally do just that and have been replaced by gem quality material. A good example of that is the occasional fossil that has been replaced with opal, like the opalized clams or belemites of Australia’s opal mines. I have seen a set of Plesiosaur rib bones replaced with opal and the opal gem value alone, for that set, was $30K. It latter sold for over $100K. Countless fossil woods are replaced with opal. Many dinosaur bones have been replaced by minerals that give them many different colors, including a beautiful deep red color.

What happens to fossils to give them such a variety of colors? The original material is replaced during fossilization by different minerals from the surrounding environment. Depending on what minerals are in the environment and the density of the fossil, certain minerals will replace the original bone or tooth material and give it a distinctive color. For example; many fossil river bones are black and are replaced with the mineral Manganese. Many fossilized shark’s teeth, from ocean and river deposits, are also black from Manganese. Other rivers, with fossils, produce a deep red or brown from Iron Oxides and tannic acid that is in the water. Many white or gray fossils have been replaced by Silica.

In Florida, fossils with color can be found in springs, phosphate mines, land deposits, and certain rivers. Many fossil corals have been replaced by a full range of color through mineralization.

What's New at

Take a look at these newly added pages! *Site Map* *Tyrannosaurus rex* *Back Issues - Fossil Newsletter*

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