This past week on Fossil Friday, I gave you a fossil and posed the question: animal, vegetable, or mineral? It turns out it was totally animal...indeed, an animal that we see even today. What was it? A locust from the Santana Formation in northeastern Brazil. This rock formation, in addition to sharing a name with my father’s favorite rock guitarist (pun intended!), is known for the well-preserved and numerous fossils found there.
In fact, the fossils are so well-preserved in this location that there are problems with illegal collection from this site. This is the darker side of our fossil fun, but many people who love fossils participate in the trade. Nature has a great article about the illegal fossil trade in Brazil, but what do you think?