Fossils in Naturpark Lillebælt
The geology of the Danish landscape contains clear traces from the ice ages millions of years ago. The ice shifted the layers of earth around and created the many hills and valleys we have in Denmark. This also contributes to Denmark being an especially good place to go on a fossil hunting adventure. In Naturpark Lillebælt, Trelde Næs and Røjle Klint are prime location for a good fossil hunt.
If you go fossil hunting, be aware that certain fossils are so special, they count as Danekræ and thus belong to the Danish state. In such a case, you can turn in the fossil at museums all over the country, after which you will receive a finders fee depending on how special the fossil you found is. Also note that everything under the sea is property of the Danish state, so keep your fossil hunt above the surface of the sea.
Fossils are the remains of animals who lived millions of year ago. When something dies, nature most often breaks down the body and over time, the earthly remains disappear, but fossils are nature’s way of preserving its history. Even though we keep finding fossils all over the world, only a very small number of organisms actually become fossils. It requires some very specific conditions before nature creates a fossil. If an animal is buried in sand, mud, clay, etc., quickly after death, there is a chance it will become fossilised. If there is hard material in the organism, it will be more easily preserved, whereas soft materials, such as hair, skin, muscle tissue, feathers, etc., rarely become part of a preserved fossil. When the remains of the animal lies under the protective layers of sand, it leaves an impression in the sand, which the fossilisation process can work around. If there are holes in the organism, minerals will fill them out. While the sand becomes harder, the remains of the animal are broken down, leaving an impression of the animal, which we can find millions of years after it was created.
When fossil hunting, you might want to bring tools to get a closer look at the fossils you find. Remember to be careful and safe.
- Working gloves
- Rubber boots
- Safety glasses
- Good company
Fossils should fit in your hand. Do not use a hammer on flint, as it is dangerous if the stone shatters.