Photos Jason Huynh

The sun is shining, and adventure calls. Springtime weather, mild and inviting beckons more and more Georgians to social distance in the great outdoors. With trails galore and rivers plenty, it’s easy to gravitate toward the same activities. Georgia’s rich geography has an even richer history still. Prehistory, that is. Grab your shovel and a pail, there are fossils in them thar hills.

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Fossil hunting is a great activity for young and old alike. With many fossil beds along the rivers and creeks, you are sure to find one close to your neck of the woods. Websites like fossilspot.com and georgiasfossils.com can get you headed in the right direction with a good idea of what to look for. It is interesting to discover fossils, imprints of a time long past, putting in perspective what a blip we and our troubles are in the scope of Earth’s history.

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These fossils are all from the Cambrian period. about 300 million years before dinosaurs. The fossils that look like rings or stems are all crinoids.

On a much less philosophical tone, fossil hunting gets you outdoors, moving around, and away from your screens. It can also quickly be turned into a fun science project or scavenger hunt for the kids.
A few words of caution to keep in mind: be mindful of poison ivy, be sure to keep your hunting on public property, and be aware of regulations against digging and keeping fossils from national parks.

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With tons of fossil beds in Floyd, Polk, Bartow, and Chattooga counties it’s easy to go explore and nerd out a bit with some fun fossil finds.

The fossils pictured are from the Cambrian period, about 300 million years before dinosaurs. The fossils that look like rings or stems are all crinoids, a type of marine life that typically includes starfish, brittle stars, sea urchins, and sea cucumbers.

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