Luna's Mandala is excited to announce a new Featured Mineral. The Featured Mineral page will provide detailed information and a series of pictoral examples that will be periodically updated every three months.
These beautiful examples are available at the shop for purchase. Or email email@example.com if you are interested in anything.
Our current feature:
The word fossil is derived from the Latin word fossus, which means “having been dug up”.
Fossils vary from plant and animal matter that were exposed to conditions that literally turned them into STONE! The time frame of fossils goes all the way back to over 540 million years ago.
The time frames are broken down in Eras and then periods (epochs) and are as follows:
Paleozoic (543 million years – 248 million years)
430-490 million years
includes the start of Coelenterates, Arthropods, Mollusks, and Brachiopods
490-443 million years
start of horn corals
443-417 million years
417-354 million years
start of Crustaceans and Cephalopods and Vertebrates
354-290 million years
Mississippian & Pennsylvanian
Start of Fish and sharks
290-248 million years
Mesozoic (248 million years – 65 million years)
248-206 million years
Beginning of flourish of animal species including dinosaurs, insects, pelecypods, ammonites and snails
Start of time of major extinctions
206-144 million years
Start of bird , squid and octopi species
144-65 million years
Start of mammal species
Cenozoic (65 million years - 0.01 million years)
65-54.8 million years
Start of reptiles
54.8-33.7 million years
33.7-23.8 million years
23.8-5.3 million years
5.3-1.8 million years
1.8-.0.1 million years
0.01 million years
Youngest fossils found
Most of us are familiar with the Jurrasic period due to the Movie JURRASIC PARK, but as you can see the history of fossils is a long one. Sometimes fossils are just remnants of the animals (rather than the actual creature); such examples are foot prints and feces (yep, you can pretty much sell anything if you wait around long enough!) My favorite is coprolite (dinosaur poop) and if you get a good specimen it can be quite a comical gift!
Click here to see some great fossil poop!
Fossils are found all over the world, but the best places to find them are sites that have a history of harsh historical environments (volcano or other metamorphic activity). The oldest known fossils are that of stromatolites.
Click here to see examples of stromatolites
What popular fossilized creature is known to be one of the oldest on earth?
**E-mail or drop in with answer for 15% off 1 item!
The type of fossilization that most of us are familiar with is referred to as Permineralization. This occurs when the organism fills with mineral rich water. The key to whether or not this organism starts to fossilize comes in how soon it is when covered by sediment. Molds of the organisms occur when the organism dissolves, but leaves a hole within the sediment. Casts occur then the hole is then filled in with other minerals.
Click here to see molds and casts
Resin fossil (amber) is found almost all over (yep, even in the Arctic !); it dates all the way back to the Triassic period (248-206 million years). Amber, fossilized tree sap, is thought to be the species way of closing it's wounds. Some amber fossils can contain animal life forms such as spiders and mosquitoes (again, remember Jurassic Park). Very rarely larger animals are found in amber, but always be cautious buying such samples as their authenticity can be sketchy. One easy way to test a piece of amber to see if it is authentic is to take a metal pin and heat it until it is red…poke amber with it and if it smells like tree sap, you've got a good piece! Warning though, don't try this on something that you don't want a little hole in…..word about the other smell too – it will smell like burning plastic!
Click here for examples of amber
Another type of fossil is referred to as pseudofossils. These are patterns that form on rocks and occur in natural geologic processes. An example of this is dendrites which form in cracks in stone and the mineral fans out and looks like a plant form. This is one of my favorites as it always makes a beautiful design that reminds me of trees and bushes!
Click here to see examples of dendrite
Fossils can fill in with many different types of stones. Some more common fillers are quartz, calcite, aragonite and my personal favorite: PYRITE!
“Another interesting fossil type is petrified wood. Petrified wood generally forms when trees fall into a river, where they become saturated and then buried in mud, ash, silt and other materials. Minerals, such as the silica in volcanic ash, seep into the tree and fill in tiny pores in wood's cells. This changes the overall composition of the wood, turning it into stone material, while preserving its original structure. The variety of minerals in petrified wood creates striking vivid colors.
Click here for even more info about fossils
Popular fossils include ferns, trilobites, ammonites, fish, orthoceras and shark’s teeth. These are found all over the world, but the most common source of many larger fossils (ammonites, trilobites and sharks teeth) are Morocco. Wyoming is the most popular site of leaf and fish fossils. Arizona, California and Madagascar are popular areas that beautiful petrified wood specimans are found and often made into bookends and jewelry. Colorado is a splendid site to view fossilized foot prints and find petrified wood (not very good quality though – there are many cracks in the wood found here).
Click here to see fossils from Colorado
It is now believed that a mass extinction happened during the Mesozoic period and was likely to be caused by a large meteor/asteroid that hit the earth:
Click here to see a video about asteroids
Click here to see a video about the Great Extinction
Either way, fossils, which are nature’s beautiful creations, are the result of extreme conditions of our past….
To view past FEATURES, click below:
Fluorite (Archive 1)
Selenite (Archive 2)
Animal Carvings (Archive 3)
Fossils (Archive 4)
Mandala (Archive 5)
Calcite (Archive 6)
Obsidian (Archive 7)
Going Green (Archive 8)
Quartz (Archive 9)
Kyanite (Archive 10)
Our New Space (Archive 11)
Return to Homepage