As a freshman at Texas A&M University in 2008, I began collecting at the Stone City Formation of Brazos Co., Texas almost weekly as the site was very close to campus and, after sorting much of this matrix for my personal collection, I began trading with others who shared my passion for microfossils. Shortly after, I began volunteering and conducting research at the Texas A&M Paleobiology Laboratory. After receiving my Masters of Geosciences, I decided that I wanted to make microfossil matrix both affordable and accessible to the public, both for educational and for personal collecting purposes. Hence, Microfossils Et Cetera was born. Microfossils are my passion and I am proud to be the largest supplier of microfossil material in the United States for educators, researchers, and hobbyists. I supply the largest variety at the cheapest prices (By a Huge Margin, feel free to compare to my one competitor), and the highest quality matrix along with some of the best customer service you will find :)
I have personally collected from Brazos co., Brown Co., Collin co., Grayson co., Ellis co., McLennan Co., Falls Co., Palo Pinto Co., Wise Co, and Jack Co. Of Texas and Jefferson Co. Of Oklahoma
So why collect microfossils?
A lot of the time, we all get stuck on this "bigger is better" mindset, but let's make a case for why smaller is better when it comes to things such as fossil material.
1. A fossil hunt in a bag: While it may be difficult for you to visit most of the sites from which we sell matrix, you can still go on a "micro" fossil hunting trip from the comfort of your own home. No travel required, no gas or time spent, no risk of bodily injury, no searing heat or freezing cold, no healvy hauling or hard digging. The site is literally brought to your door step!
2. It's cheap: Let's face it, your time, gas or plane money, hotel rooms, equipment, etc often times make a trip extraordinarily expensive. Buying fossils by themselves can also be expensive for rare species. We've cut out most of the cost and for all we know, you could find a rare fossil worth hundreds of dollars and we would never know it!
3. Discover something new: You could discover a new species or something just completely rare; all of the fossils you find have never been seen or touched with human hands before and there is always a possibility that you find something you can legitimately name as a new species.
4.It's very space effective:
Small fossils take up very little space and often an entire collection can fit inside a shoe box, which is perfect for apartments or small homes.
5. Better condition fossils: Let's face it, most large fossils are broken or poorly preserved. This is not th case with these tiny treasurers.
6. You will find fossils, lots of fossils! While there is always a risk of visiting a fossil hunting location and coming up empty handed, this is not the case with microfossil matrix.
7. Perfect for everyone, including those who are constrained on travel time, on a budget, don't want to have a heat stroke in the Texas summers, or who are otherwise disabled, or handicapped.
How Our Matrix is Prepared
Raw matrix is prepared using Clean 1/4" wire screens. We must wash every pebble and fossil from the screens between batches to prevent contamination (you don't want to find a Cretaceous shark tooth in Eocene matrix). First, the raw matrix is broken down through allowing it to soak multiple days in either water, or H2O2 for tougher material. It is then washed through a 1/4" screen onto a 1mm wire mesh screen. This material is sun-dried and then either bagged right away (2/3 matrix) or graded through a 1/8" and 1/25" screen to get our #2 and #3 matrix. Extra sterilization procedures are sometimes performed if the matrix is for international shipping. The matrix is measured and weighed, then bagged 8 ounces at a time, or 1 ounce for #1 matrix. Each bagged is then hermetically sealed using a thermal sealer and labeled with the formation, county or closest town, geological age, and size.
How our Matrix is Priced
Our matrix is priced based upon multiple variables such as:
Rarity of the material:
Some types are from private sites and are only available through us. Others are well known and often collected from such as Lee Creek. Difficulty of collection: Some sites are by the roadside and are easy to collect from, others require miles of hiking over hard terrain with a heavy backpack.
Yield ratio of Raw matrix to Processed matrix:
Some types such as that from the Eagle Ford, Sherman locality will yield 9 gallons of prepped matrix from 10 gallons of raw matrix. Others such as the matrix from the Del Rio formation will require 20 gallons of raw matrix to yield just 1 gallon of prepped matrix.
Gas, Time, and Other materials:
Some sites are close, others require a multi-hour drive. Each bag of matrix represents many hours of travel, digging, and processing before bagging. A large investment has been made in equipment and this equipment wears out and needs replacing over time. Countless gallons of water and H2O2 are used to process matrix.
When considering time/labor, equipment, water, fuel, and the knowledge of where to dig for quality matrix, you're getting a Very good deal!