Natural Resources, School of


Date of this Version



Published by Conservation & Survey Division, University of Nebraska. Copyright © June 1970 The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska.


Table of Contents:

What Are Fossils? How Do They Form?
How Are Fossiliferous Rocks Formed?
What is Paleontology?
What Can Fossils Tell Us?
Fossils and Geologic Time
Fossils as Environmental Indicators
Fossils and Conservation
How Are Fossils Named?
Where Are Fossils Found?
Collecting Courtesy
Tools for Collecting Fossils
Tips on Collecting Fossils
Safety Rules
Quarry Safety
Safety Don'ts to Remember
Preparation of Specimens
A Bit of Advice
General Characteristics of Nebraska's Important Fossils
Phylum Protozoa (Single-Celled Animals)
The Living Protozoan
Fossil Protozoans from Nebraska
Phylum Porifera (Pore Bearers or Sponges)
The Living Sponge
Fossil Sponges from Nebraska
Phylum Coelenterata (Jellyfishes and Corals)
The Living Coelenterate
Occurrences of Coelenterates in Nebraska
Worm Phyla (Excluding Annelida)
Phylum Ectoprocta (Moss Animals; Formerly Phylum Bryozoa)
The Living Ectoproct
Fossil Ectoprocts from Nebraska.
Phylum Brcahiopoda
The Living Brachiopod.
Class Articulata
Occurrence of Fossil Articulate Brachiopods in Nebraska
Class Inarticulata
Occurrence of Inarticulate Brachiopods in Nebraska
Phylum Mollusca (Clams, Snails, Nautiloids, Ammonoids, Squids, and Octopi)
Class Bivalvia (Clams, Oysters, and Scallops)
The Living Bivalve
Guide to Pennsylvanian and Permian Bivalve Identification
Clam-like bivalves
Scallop-like bivalves
Occurrence of Pennsylvanian and Permian Bivalves in Nebraska
Guide to Cretaceous Bivalve Identification
Clam-like bivalves
Scallop-like bivalves
Occurrence of Cretaceous Bivalves in Nebraska
Occurrence of Pleistocene Bivalves in Nebraska
Class Gastropoda (Snails, Slugs)
Guide to Pennsylvanian and Permian Gastropod Identification
Symmetrical gastropods
Low-spired gastropods
Medium-spired gastropods
High-spired gastropods
Occurrence of Pennsylvanian and Permian Gastropods in Nebraska
Guide to Cretaceous Gastropod Identification
Occurrence of Cretaceous Gastropods in Nebraska
Guide to Tertiary Gastropod Identification
Guide to Pelistocene Gastropod Identification
Flat or coolie-cap-shaped Pleistocene gastropods
Low-spired aquatic Pleistocene gastropods
Low-spired terrestrial Pleistocene snails
Medium-spired terrestrial Pleistocene gastropods
High-spired aquatic Pleistocene gastropods
High-spired terrestrial Pleistocene gastropods
Occurrence of Pleistocene gastropods in Nebraska
Class Scaphopoda
Class Cephalopoda
The Living Cephalopod
Guide to Cephalopod Identification
Straight-shelled cephalopods with nautiloid sutures
Coil-shelled cephalopods with nautiloid sutures
Cretaceous partially-coiled or straight-shelled ammonoids
Pennsylvanian-Permian coil-shelled ammonoids
Cretaceous coil-shelled ammonoids
Subclass Coleoidea
Occurrence of Cephalopods from Nebraska
Pennsylvanian and Permian Cephalopods
Cretaceous Cephalopods
Phylum Annelida (Segmented Worms)
Phylum Arthropoda
The Living Arthropod
Class Trilobita
Guide to Trilobite Identification.
Occurrence of Trilobites in Nebraska
Class Arachnoidea
Subclass Merostomata
Order Eurypterida
Class Crustacea
Subclass Ostracoda
Subclass Cirripedia (Barnacles)
Class Hexapoda
Subclass Insecta
Phylum Echinodermata (Spiny-Skinned Animals)
Class Crinoidea
The Living Crinoid
Guide to Crinoid Identification
Crinoids having no anal plate or having a single, recessed anal plate
Crinoids having a single anal plate exposed on the side of the cup
Crinoids having two or three plates in the anal series
Crinoids having three or more plates in the anal series
Miscellaneous crinoids
Occurrence of Crinoids in Nebraska
Class Echinoidea (Sea Urchins, Sand Dollars, Heart Urchins)
Occurrence of Echinoids in Nebraska
Class Stelleroidea (Star Fishes)
Subclass Ophiuroidea (Brittle Stars)
Class Holothuroidea (Sea Cucumbers)
Phylum Uncertain, Class Uncertain
Order Conodontophorida . Phylum Chordata (the Vertebrates)
Subphylum Hemichordata
Class Graptoloidea
Order Graptoloidea
Subphylum Vertebrata
Plant Fossils
Ferns and Seed Ferns
Scale and Seal Trees
Scouring Rushes
Yucca Roots
Selected Bibliography