Meet the

Fossil Dealers

Fossil Dealer Richie Kurkewicz of
Pangaea Fossils
Richie has a long history of obtaining fossils the old fashioned way, by hunting then. This now (these old timers are fading away in the post genomic world) odd behavior began when he was a young boy growing up in suburban, Northern New Jersey There he collected fossils from the open, cleared fields of weathered rocks dropped off by retreating Pleistocene glaciers. Thus began his lifetime fascination with fossils and paleontology. Over the subsequent decades, he has hunted fossils in over 20 American states and in different provinces of Canada. He was out there whenever possible.

Richie describes the Internet as having opened a new frontier of discovery, where he could easily and readily interact with like-minded people. First he started "Richie's Rocks," a paleo-trading site. Through this vehicle, he made many new acquaintances, and expanded his parochial collection to a world wide one. This led shortly to Pangaea Fossils in 2001, a commercial on-line fossil boutique. Here he was able to share with the world some of the rarities and hard to find fossils he had accumulated.

Having both commercial and academic interests in fossils led him to initiate an educational and informational organization, The Western Trilobite Association in 2003. One of the primary goals of this association was to find common ground / synergy between the often conflicting interests of amateur and commercial collectors and the academic community. In this endeavor, he expresses finding considerable success. The WTA has now generated a flow of shared discoveries, field research and even co-authorship in research papers.

In 2006, Pangaea joined the Fossil Mall. Richie says, “It's a pleasure to work with these other enthusiasts with such rich scientific knowledge, and with whom I share so many common values and interests. This is a first class organization with science and integrity as common shared values. The collection of worldwide and world class fossils found at the Fossil Mall website is truly astonishing.”

Richie in Navada at a Navadia trilobite site. Pretty grubby, but where he prefers to be.
Collecting in Nevada with cohorts, including Riccardo Levi-Setti (second from left), the author of Trilobites.
Levi-Setti, R. 1993. Trilobites: A photographic atlas (second edition). The University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
Richie without his stocking cap, with his beloved fossils in the background.

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