Fossils can be found in many geologic provinces in Virginia, including: the Coastal Plain, the Mesozoic Basins, the Valley and Ridge, and the Appalachian Plateaus. Virginia also includes rare and unusual fossils in the Piedmont and in Saltville.
• In the Coastal Plain, fossils are found in Cretaceous and Cenozoic rocks. Plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates can be found.
Fossil tree trunk (Photograph by Dave Hubbard)
Left: mollusks (photograph by Stan Johnson); right: whale vertebra (Photograph by Parvinder Sethi)
Virginia’s Coastal Plain includes diverse types of fossils. The top photograph shows a Tertiary tree trunk. The bottom left photograph shows mollusks from Surry County. The bottom right photograph shows a whale vertebra from Westmoreland County.
• In the Mesozoic Basins, Triassic and Jurassic fossils can be found. These areas are famous for their dinosaur footprints. Fish, insects, and plants fossils have also been found. The below left photograph shows a footprint of Kyantipus minor, a dinosaur. The below right photograph shows part of a fish that lived during the Mesozoic.
Left: Dinosaur footprint (photograph by Stan Johnson); right: fish fossil (photograph by Gerald P. Wilkes)