A small selection of the fossils I found on the beaches of the Jurassic Coast last year.
A small selection of the fossils I found on the beaches of the Jurassic Coast last year.

Last fall, I visited the Jurassic Coast in southeast England to go fossil hunting with a friend. After a week of scouring beaches in Lyme Regis and nearby towns, we left with piles of fossils. We found nothing that would be worthy of a museum, but they were special because we found them.

Fossil hunting can be great fun, especially for kids. Inspired by my trip, I wrote a story for Science News for Students (the online publication for which I am an editor) about children who have found amazing fossils and adult paleontologists who were inspired by fossil hunting when they were young.

And I encourage anyone who likes the outdoors to give fossil hunting a try (check out the story for recommendations of places to try out, but be sure to learn the rules first). It was a lot of fun, even in the chilly rain of an English autumn. And, as Nicholas Pyenson of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History told me: “Any day someone can make an observation that changes everything.”