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Adopt-A-Fossil! Become a Guardian of Deep Time Texas

Raised toward our $15,000 Goal
88 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on May 01, at 11:59 PM CDT
Project Owners

Adopt-A-Fossil! Become a Guardian of Deep Time Texas

Follow the project on twitter  @adoptAFOSSIL. After you 'adopt',  select and claim your fossil, if your favorite is not yet there let us know and we'll make it available for you. Learn more about our collections, a sample of our Outreach, and our type fossils.

SAMPLE FOSSIL FOR ADOPTION:  Finally some lovely brachiopods. This group were very prolific in the Paleozoic seas.


Deep time Texas? We’re talking here about Texas over several hundred million years. During that time frame, we have been variously covered by the sea, crisscrossed with huge deltas, mountains have formed and eroded, and much more. All those changes have left us with a record in the form of rocks. Luckily for us, those rocks sometimes include examples of living organisms existing at that time, preserved as fossils. These rare fossils provide a unique window to life, and the variations of that life, as the Texas ecosystems changed.The full scope of this project is to provide virtual access to this record of life held in the research collections at the Jackson School of Geosciences, specifically the invertebrate paleontology collections. Those collections are global so you may find yourself adopting a fossil from other exciting places-just because it is so fascinating!


The HornRaiser will be funding a vital part of the project. 2-D and 3-D imaging of a select group of 25 fossils representing major branches of invertebrate life, corals, sponges, molluscs (like snails and clams), arthropods (like crabs), and echinoderms (like sea urchins and sea lilies).

Your donations will be used to acquire a NextEngine 3-D laser scanner and software, and support a graduate student and two undergraduates. The students will be instrumental in imaging and processing those images and scans, writing short explanations and producing the short videos. Their work will be monitored by experts at the Non-vertebrate Paleontology Laboratory. The 3-D models will be printed at the Innovation Station in collaboration with the Cockrell School of Engineering. The selected 3-D file will be uploaded to that system, and the adopter will be emailed when their printing is to occur. They have the added thrill of being able to follow the process live on-line, if they wish.


We encourage individuals, classes, or groups to adopt one or sets of the fossil specimens and learn the history of those specimens, their scientific importance, and what they tell us about the environments at that time. Each adopter can learn what happens to fossils after they were collected and placed in the collections. Everyone will receive a digital image of their fossil and a basic description of what group it represents, and when it lived. Then, depending upon the level of contribution, they will receive 3-D prints, and other exciting opportunities. Schools may request suites of fossils that are common to their specific locations, and we shall encourage them to post their own finds on a Google Earth so we can develop a two-way scientific dialog with those students. We shall provide teachers with a template for the type of data that should be gathered along with any fossil finds their own students make, and encourage them to use their own finds as a means to further the scientific and cognitive skills of their students. If they are urban schools or those in non-fossiliferous areas, we shall provide them with data sets from our own collections, so these students do not miss out on the experience.


The Project Goals: (1) Generate interest in deep time history, especially in Texas  and develop a fun way to learn about invertebrate animals that have lived here in the past. Some of these animals are long extinct, or extirpated (moved off to somewhere other than Texas), and others profoundly changed through time.  (2) Provide a way in which all participants can appreciate that the earth is not static, environments change over time, and organisms respond to that change in a wide variety of ways. This is a highly important topic especially in our present state of changing climates.  (3) Create a broad base of philosophical and financial support for the collections themselves. Funding for such vital research collections is highly competitive, but such funding is absolutely critical to achieve their long-term survival. Most of the collections cannot be ‘recollected’ because it would be either financially prohibitive or physically impossible. We cannot go back in time and recollect mussels from 1890, neither can we drain the highland lakes to recollect those pre-1950’s sites, or dig up highways and housing developments.        

Thank you for your support, you are helping to preserve our unique record of life in deep time Texas for research and education.                                  

Follow the project on twitter  @adoptAFOSSIL. After you 'adopt',  select and claim your fossil, if your favorite is not yet there let us know and we'll make it available for you. Learn more about our collections, a sample of our Outreach, and our type fossils.

Our way
of Thanking You



Flourish a digital certificate of adoption complete with an image of your fossil. Plus the option to have your name on our social media sites! An adoption certificate is provided for all donation levels.

6 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: October 2015



Now that you are on the hierarchy of the Linnaean system for classifying organisms, you will want to know more about your fossil. Learn more about your adopted fossil with a high resolution digital image and explanatory text.

15 of 1000 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: October 2015



Display a frame ready 8” x 10” glossy print of your adopted fossil. You can create your own collage if you contribute multiple times at this level.

21 of 50 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: October 2015



Your fossil joins our Fossil Roulette page "" complete with context information and the chance to see where your fossil, when it was alive, might have lived in deep time!

10 of 10 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: October 2015



Adopt a type fossil and with it a suite of high resolution digital images details about the collection history. The scientific name of every fossil is usually based on one particular specimen-the type. Type fossils are viewed and studied by researchers from around the world.

5 of 5 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: October 2015



Your digital image will be labelled so you can learn important anatomical features and point out those to your friends. Add to that a hard copy 3D print and you will be able to experience fully the intriguing design of your fossil.

5 of 25 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: October 2015



Join us for lunch and visit the NPL collections at UT. This personal tour will be led by the curator and others with knowledge about the collections. If you are unable to travel we will meet you in the virtual world, via FaceTime or Skype!

3 of 10 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: October 2015



A rare chance to own an original, limited edition print. These are a special donation to us from artist Adam Schreiber- a UT alum. The artwork is based on our fossils- a 21st century ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’.

1 of 3 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: October 2015
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