THEY ARE NOT THE BRASS INLAYS AND COLORED INLAYS OR SHELLS - THOSE ARE NOT YOUR TARGET. IF YOU ARE UNSURE - READ THE HINT. IT WILL REALLY HELP. I WILL ALSO TELL YOU THIS: THEY ARE NOT PALM (OR ANY OTHER) LEAVES....THAT IS THE MOST POPULAR INCORRECT ANSWER.
As I often do, I was transiting through Denver on my way to a business meeting (this time in Anchorage). While in Terminal B, I was looking at the floor near Gate B29. The floor is very unique - made up of various colored and shaped terrazzo pieces, it is also embedded with brass and colored cement renditions of fossils, native words and living things that ultimately became fossils (those are not the subject/object of this Earthcache). To my surprise - I discovered actual fossils as well.
Fossils (Latin for "obtained by digging") are preserved traces of animals, plants and organisms from the far past. Fossils range in age from 10,000 years to 3.48 billion years old.
Fossilization can occur through a variety of different processes. For instance in Permineralization, the organism is quickly covered in sediment. The sediment, usually suspended in groundwater, fills the empty spaces of the organism where liquid or gases once were located. In Replacement and Recrystallization, shell, bone and other tissue is replaced with another mineral. Thus while the original item (example a shell) no longer exists, in its place is a replica made of another mineral.
At GZ you will see bronze replicas of various fossils. You will also note some bronze representations of various life forms that could have resulted in the creation of fossils. (Admire them and then ignore them. Those are not your targets). But, you will also see actual fossils. These are located in a various shaped "tiles" embedded in the terrazzo floor.
To log this Earthcache please send the answers to the following questions to the Cache Owner via his geocaching account- Do not post answers in your log or your log will be deleted. There is no informational sign - you will need to do some internet research to answer some of the questions (not all) - unless you know the answers from personal knowledge as some finders have. There are two groups of tiles within a few feet of each other - please find both groups (or your tile count will be wrong). Questions:
1) Describe the fossils to me: (a) what colors are they? (b) are there many or a few fossils within any given tile? (c) what are they fossils of? (d) what are the scientific names of the organism(s) that produced these fossils? (e) what is/are the modern day equivalent of these creatures? (f) are they concentrated or thinly spread out in the background material? (g) are they all of uniform size or are there various sizes? (h) What do you believe the approximate size of the largest fossils you see? The smallest ones?
2) What type of rock surrounds the fossils: igneous, sedimentary or metamorphic - explain why (note: not the floor itself, but the darker rock in each tile of fossils).
3) How many tiles contain these actual fossils (you will be between Gate 29 and Gate 31 - no need to go onto the carpeted regions). Just in case you are in a rush or there are too many passengers around, I'll allow you an acceptable level of error of +/- 2 tiles.
4) If you like - post a photo of yourself at GZ (that does not reveal the fossils) and/or tell us about your travel that took you though Denver's airport.
Remember - you are looking for actual fossils - not the bronze representations such as pictured below and in the background image....also the large bluish imprinted shells are not the fossils either. You MUST send me the answers no later than 3 days after you post a Found It. Answers MUST NOT be posted in the logs even if encrypted. Unfortunately, I will be forced to delete any log that does not meet these requirements.