to find Fossils, Gems, and Minerals in Arizona
This book is designed for anyone to simply
and easily search for fossils sites in Arizona, either by common
name, scientific name, or area. There are many links to other sites
with research, pictures, and information you will need to hunt for,
find, and correctly collect fossils in Arizona including applicable
laws. Directions are given as well as a listing of what you are
most likely to find there. In addition the equipment and techniques
for digging are also cover. All and all the only book of its kind
for fossil collectors from 3 to 83. Dr. Samuel Breidenbach
Buy the eBook: Where To Find Fossils In Arizona.pdf
Payment to Annexa.net (website host)
First let us define
"What is a fossil?" Put simply a fossil is a once living
organism or part of one that after dying through an incompletely
understood mechanism called fossilization became another substance;
usually some form of rock or stone. There are no bones left
from the dinosaurs, most mammals from over a thousand years ago,
and all earlier forms of life from bugs to trees. They are
all now stone copies. And they are rare. It is only
the shear volume of once living organisms from over a billion years
that allows us to find any fossils. Likely only a few percent
(some estimates have it less than 1%) of all living creatures ever
For example, let's take shark teeth.
If an average shark lived 10 years his constantly shed and replenished
teeth from his jaws would number in the thousands. They are
shed like we shed hair. And since they are in water they rarely
do not fossilize. One shark could actually leave up to 30,000
teeth in a lifetime on the ocean floor. And what once ocean
may now be desert, mountain, or plain.
Now how does one find fossils? There
is no easy answer to this one. Sometimes they are on the surface
and you can pick them up like shells off a beach. But most
of the time they are disguised or hidden. That requires a
little education to find. A good way to educate yourself is
on the internet, a local bookstore, or a library. There are
many good books for all ages and levels. But perhaps a better
way is to go to a museum that specializes in ancient life.
There you can get a really good education for the price of admission.
Any museum worthy of the name have staff members that will happily
talk to you about this subject.
Dinosaur and Ancient Life
Tyrannosaurid is basically a smaller version of the T Rex and lived
at about the same time. So far only fragmentary remains such
as teeth have been found in the Santa Rita Mountains near Tucson.
Look sharp and you could be the first to discover a major find of
Thecodonts from the Upper Triassic are your thing then the Chinle
Formations throughout the Petrified Forest National Park area has
yielded Acenasuchus, Desmatosuchas, Paratypothorax, Stagonolepis,
and Typothorax species.
Found in the Painted Desert part of the Petrified Forest National
Park East of Holbrook. Most found in the North wilderness
area. You must have a permit to dig, but looking is okay.
GPS very helpful in case you find something.
in NE Az at the junction of US 160 & 89 just West of Tuba City
about 200 yards off the old highway toward Moenave in the Kayenta
Formation rocks. On Reservation land so ask permission before
Herrerasurus (Chindesaurus bryansmalli):
One of the earliest of all dinosaur species
ever found was found in the Chinle Formation inside Petrified Forest
National Park. It is likely that there are specimens outside
the restricted park that have not been found yet.
in Tucson Mountains on Cat Mountain. Unfortunately this specimen
was believed to have been "floated" into the area on a
free floating block of rock on a lava flow so it undoubtedly originated
somewhere else. But there could still be more not found of
This Prosauropod from the Early Jurassic has been found near
Rock Head on the Navajo Indian Reservation.
Trace finds of these flying reptiles have been found in the Kayenta
Formations near the Four Corners area including possible trackways..
We know they were in AZ, just haven't found much yet.
These crocodile-like reptiles from the Triassic are relatively numerous
in all formations of Triassic age found throughout Northern Arizona
with nearly a dozen species found so far.
the long necked and short neck versions have been found in Arizona.
All so far have been found in Mancos Shale around Black Mesa.
species have been found so far in Arizona and all in various Chinle
Formation strata near and in Petrified Forest National Park.
The species are Postosuchus kirkpatricki, poposaurus gracilis, and
This large Brachiosaurid dinosaur has been found in the Patagonia
area of SE Arizona. It is likely that more are out there and
this individual was actually found by an amateur fossil hunter searching
Cretaceous formation of the area.
just to the East of Cameron and North of Flagstaff on US 89.
This area is called the painted Desert and is on the Navajo Indian
Reservation SE of Rock Head Ridge on Ward Terrace. Ask permission
before hunting this area.
This coelophysis-like early dinosaurs were
found in the Kayenta Formation rocks in the Little Colorado River
Valley. Not much I known about them at present.
is still unknown if this is an early Iguandontidae or Hypsilophodontidae.
But remains have been found in both the Empire Mountains and the
Whetstone Mountains in SE Arizona. Can you be the first to
find an almost complete skeleton?
(a primitive snake-snecked turtle) is found in the Kayenta formation
throughout Northern Arizona. Sea turtles of the family Dematochelys
have been found in the Mancos shale around Black Mesa. The
soft shell turtle Trionyx (still alive today) and Plastomenus are
found throughout the Santa Rita Mountains near Tucson in Fort Crittendn
Gems & Minerals
Mine William Gardner Glendale, AZ. 602 547-2234.
Rock hound Area BLM Safford, AZ. 928 388-4400.
Mine in Bradshaw Mountains. 480 839-0151.
Many type including Amethyst, quartz, garnet, tourmaline, &