November 27, 2020 - Pennsylvanian, Jefferson County, Al

On Friday, November 27, 2020, seven BPS members and guests went to a working strip mine in Jefferson County to collect fossils from the Pottsville formation of the Pennsylvanian period.  The fossils collected today originated in a warm, steamy, oxygen-rich environment and many grew to towering heights.  Some of the fossils found are pith casts, formed when sediments filled the hollow center of a stem and later hardened/mineralized into rock.  Other fossils are imprints and show beautiful details of fern-like foliage.


March 21, 2020 - Pennsylvanian, Jefferson, AL

On Saturday, March 21, 2020, a baker’s dozen members and guests of BPS went to a site that we’d never visited.  A tip from a member’s neighbor and a scouting outing was awarded by permission to collect in a strip mine in Jefferson County.  The spoil piles that held fossils were from the Pennsylvanian period – Coal Age fossils that were formed as warm moist coastal swamps gave way to periodic flooding and sedimentation during continental drift changes.  Interestingly, similarities between Pennsylvanian coal deposits in the Black Warrior Basin and those in South America indicate that they wer

December 3, 2011 - Pennsylvanian fossils, Bibb Co, Alabama

 Have you ever wondered what an ol’ mine has to do with paleontology? Just ask 8 year old Antonio who went with us on our last field trip; that is if you can get him to slow down as he chatters about his finds at the mine while grinning from ear to ear.
When you first visit the mine, it looks like a vast wasteland with piles of rocks just scooped from the earth and placed in mounds away from the actual work area.

April 3, 2010 - Pennsylvanian Fossils, Shelby Co. AL

On a chilly rainy day a few BPS members braved the weather to view a spectacular waterfall in Shelby County.  After the waterfall hike another stop was made to find some wonderful plant material.


February 21, 2009 - Pennsylvanian Fossils, Bibb Co, AL

Well, sometimes things happen unexpectedly.  A call on Monday to the landowner to schedule a field trip for March.  Well, actually he said, the site is ready to be reclaimed.  Next week.  Can you come this Saturday?    Well  . . . .


Calamites detail

Calamites detail


Fossil shells and calamites

Fossil shells and calamites


BPS Fossil Exhibit Homewood Library

Paleozoic case

August 25, 2007 - Pennsylvanian Fossils, Tuscaloosa Co, AL

A trip to a non-working mine site to explore spoil piles for invertebrate fossils was on the menu for BPS's August field trip. The mining company, headquartered in Tuscaloosa county generously offered us the opportunity to explore at this site. A long, hot day on a moonscape was nevertheless a great trip, yielding some beautiful specimens.

We met with the mining engineer who gave us a quick overview of the mining operations, then let us go onto the piles to do our hunting. We hunted until the heat got to us and it was time to seek air-conditioning.

February 18, 2006 - Pennsylvanian Fossils, Bibb and Shelby Co, AL

Another trip not put off for "rain, nor sleet, nor snow etc." Near-freezing temperatures, 100% chance of rain, an overcast sky and icy drizzle to begin the day were all on the menu at the BPS field trip in February to strip-mine sites in Bibb and Shelby county. To give you an idea of what we decided to brave, our host at our first


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