Many possible pieces of equipment aren't necessarily required on-site. I have found a dental pick useful for the careful removal of matrix surounding the fossil, but this is a slower process which is best undertaken at your leisure. A magnifying glass can be helpful on-site or at home. Gloves are often optional at either place.

There's probably a host of other kinds of equipment which you may find helpful. Shellac can be used later to emphasize the shape or the texture or other features of the fossil. A microscope is needed for minuscule fossils and can be used with certain slide impressions. Experienced collectors sometimes use dilute hydrochloric acid to dissolve the limestone around a silicified fossil. Finally, implements or tools may be required if you wish to obtain a cross section of a fossil.

I spent weeks trying to cut a fossil lengthwise with hacksaw blades to discover whether it was a nautiloid or an irregular cast of a worm burrow. Photograph three on the page opposite shows the result; the fossil was held too tightly in the vise and it broke. Nevertheless, you can see why I went to this trouble. The arrows indicate very faint ridges which one would expect to find on nautiloid fossils. The cut-away section, however, does not show the chambers and features of the interior of a nautiloid. This fossil is the cast of a worm burrow.


Fossils from seven groups or phyla, already listed, will be illustrated on the following pages. On the page beside the photograph(s), a brief description will be included, and the location where the collections took place along the east side of the Humber River some thirty-five years ago will be noted.

As already stated, the collections occurred when the rivers were low and sections of the bed were exposed. A dam or low waterfall has been built across the river below Magwood Park and Baby Point (Bah-bee) so that the river bed is covered. I believe that there are few "improvements" to the steeper banks between the bridge to the Old Mill and the bridge at Bloor Street West, but the area is best approached in the dry season. Don't despair at this information! I have seen many fossil-rich sites on both sides of the river, both upstream and downstream.

Good hunting!

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