Fossil Collecting/Field Collecting

Do not hammer at rock outcrops aimlessly, and never leave rock fragments scattered over fields or roads. The irresponsible destruction of an outcrop in search of one or two fossils is not welcomed. Fossils should be collected sparingly, and preferably without the use of a hammer. Often the best fossils are those which have been Weathering|weathered out of the rock over a long period of time. They may be visible on the surface of the rock, or among the loose scree at the foot of an outcrop. Searching for fossils on the ground is largely a matter of patience and a keen eye.

It is always better to leave a fossil in the field rather than try to dig it out in a hurry using the wrong tools, you could damage or destroy a valuable scientific find. Collecting is often a matter of personal judgement; consider the scientific value of the fossil and whether it would otherwise be damaged or destroyed by erosion. If you have found a fossil on the ground surface you know that it was exposed by erosion. Further erosion will not enhance the fossil. Would it be better to collect the specimen now, or return at a later time with the appropriate tools? Many online sites can be found to describe preferred collecting tools and methods for the fossils in which you are interested. If you think that the removal of the specimen is essential, then do it. Otherwise, contact an authority at a local university or club who can help you.