By William Schmachtenberg
On August 19, 2015, high school students at Franklin County High School in Rocky Mount, VA identified fossils that had not yet been identified from the VMNH collections. At first, they compared the fossils with books on fossils and determined that they were trilobites from the Cambrian Period.
The students handled the fossil specimens with great care, and had fun sorting through these ancient creatures. In the afternoon, a student used new fossil identification software to further identify the trilobite. Knowing that the fossil was Cambrian in age helped with their identification.
Based on the picture of the fossil and some simple measurements, a student from FCHS identified the unknown fossil from VMNH as Olenellus romensis.
If you would like to try to identify unknown fossils from Virginia, you can access the software and fossil data at: www.evwllc.co. Click the “FREE Fossil App” link at the top of the website.