“Indian beads” can be found along the shore line of the Great Lakes. This pass time has been one of my favorite thing to do while at the beach. I have been collecting these fossils since I was a kid, but I have never known what exactly they are or where they come from. So, I did a little research.
These treasures come from the marine animal called Crinoids. There are two types of the plant-like animals. One type has a stalk that is used to hold on to the ocean floor. This type of crinoid can be found deep under the sea below the lighted zone where the darkness hides the animal from predictors. The second type does not have a stalk and is found in shallow water coral reefs of the Caribbean Sea, the South Pacific Ocean and the cold waters of the Antarctic. Since the Great Lakes are no where near any of these bodies of water, the fossils that I find come from ancient animals that lived here throughout the Devonian Age. Durring this time, Northern Michigan was covered with a sea of warm water.
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Another product of the Devonian Age, and one of my favorite pieces of nature to collect are Petosky Stones. These stones are fossilized coral and can be found along the northern shores of Lake Michigan. They were the inspiration behind this beautiful blanket made by Amy Tylor.