Publication: $7.00 (25 p., 8.5 x 11 inches), ES45
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Have you ever wanted to collect fossils—the remains of organisms that lived millions of years ago—but didn’t know where to start looking? Or are you just interested in learning more about the diverse lifeforms that used to exist in Wisconsin?
A new booklet, entitled Common Paleozoic Fossils of Wisconsin, published by the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, can help you. The authors, Ross Nehm and Bryan Bemis, grew up in Wisconsin and spent a lot of time clambering through quarries and over rocks, looking for evidence of now-extinct creatures. They went on to study paleontology (the study of ancient life based on fossilized plants and animals) at the University of Wisconsin.
The authors describe how and where fossils form, when they lived (the Paleozoic covers the period of time from about 570 to 245 million years ago), what fossils tell us about ancient environments, how to collect fossils, and general localities where you might find fossils.
But the heart of the booklet lies in its drawings. Nehm and Bemis created the illustrations; their drawings of the fossils have a textured, dimensional quality. These illustrations will aid collectors in identifying the fossils that they have discovered in their travels in Wisconsin—or perhaps inspire a trip to a nearby quarry or roadcut (after obtaining permission from a landowner, of course) to begin a collection.