January 7 is National Old Rock Day

Fossil Farm 2010_CeSHappy National Old Rock Day! In celebration of National Old Rock Day we wanted to share with you one of the many “old rocks” on a property under conservation easement with the Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy. Fossil Farm is located in Tioga County and got its name from the rock outcropping shown in this photo.

Pennsylvania is home to many fossil deposits and other “old” rocks. General Geology Report G 40 by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Bureau of Topography and Geology defines a fossil as, “any naturally formed record of animal or plant life found in rocks that give an idea of the appearance of the original organism.” Most fossils are found in sedimentary rock, and fossils have been found on every continent in the world.

Our region is home to some famous fossils. The stretch of Route 120 just East of Renovo is known in geology circles for some of the fossils found in the “red cliffs” along the road. Dr. John Way highlighted the Red Cliffs on his website.  You can read about the site and a key find by paleontologists Ted Daeschler (Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia) and Neil Shubin (now University of Chicago) using this link.

For more information about fossils in Pennsylvania you can visit the Bureau of Topography and Geology’s website, or Penn State University’s on-line library to read, “A Dictionary of the Fossils of Pennsylvania and Neighboring States.

Please remember to always talk to a landowner before entering their property to look at old rocks and fossils.