Our Story

1984 marks Fossil Realm's humble beginnings. At the time, Jim Lovisek and his wife Liz Komisar had founded the Toronto Nature Centre, a hands-on science camp with a popular fossil and mineral gift shop. The camp was a dream come true for the two passionate educators who met while working at the Royal Ontario Museum. For 16 years, the camp was a wild success and the gift shop eventually blossomed into a full-time store on Avenue Road, in mid-town Toronto. The store was a magnet for collectors across Ontario and it was widely recognized for its rare and one-of-a-kind fossils from all over the world.

In 2002, Fossil Realm was officially born. Peter (Liz and Jim's son) became more involved in the family business at the time. He saw an opportunity to reach collectors across the globe through the web, initially using eBay. In 2012, Peter launched FossilRealm.com, a modern and innovative e-commerce website. The business grew rapidly in the following years and, in 2016, Peter assumed the role of President and CEO. Now, Fossil Realm is a leader in the online world and its world class fossil and mineral collection is housed in two warehouses and a showroom located at 60 Basaltic Rd., in Vaughan, Ontario (just north of Toronto). Jim and Liz continue to have integral roles at Fossil Realm: Jim is the Collections Manager and Liz is the Editorial Advisor.

Peter Lovisek - Fossil Realm booth, Bancroft Trade Show
Peter Lovisek working at the Fossil Realm booth at the 2013 Rockhound Gemboree in Bancroft, Ontario, Canada.

Experience and Expertise 

  • We have over 30 years of experience in commercial palaeontology.
  • We select our fossils and minerals based on a rigorous and scientifically informed process.
  • Our reputable fossil suppliers are well known to us and highly respected in the industry.  
  • Since 2002, we have received hundreds of positive reviews about our incredible specimens and down to earth customer service.
  • See our Testimonials page or eBay seller feedback.

Passion

  • Our passion for fossils and minerals is endless and it's what fuels our search for rare and amazing specimens!
  • We strongly believe  everyone should have access to high-quality fossils and minerals.
  • In addition to premium specimens, we maintain a wide selection of fossils and minerals under $50 (we are also a wholesale supplier). 

Integrity

  • All specimens are honestly represented with realistic photography and detailed, accurate information. 
  • We are 100% transparent about any preparation, repair or restoration.
  • We are well-aware of the fake fossils being produced in countries such as Morocco and have the expertise to distinguish real from fake, even when the "fakery" is sophisticated.
  • We advocate for the legal trade of fossils and comply with all national and international laws related to the importing, exporting and collecting of fossils.  
  • We are a proud member of AAPS, the Association of Applied Paleontological Sciences, which promotes "ethical collecting practices and cooperative liaisons with researchers, instructors, curators and exhibit managers in the paleontological academic and museum community."

 

People

 

Jim Lovisek - Co-founder

Jim Lovisek, Collections Manager 

The best way to get to know Jim Lovisek is to chat with him about fossils and minerals. When it comes to Life and Earth Science, Jim's enthusiasm is unmatched and his knowledge is expansive. Jim's deep passion for nature, combined with an adventurous entrepreneurial spirit, has coloured his professional life. In addition to a decades-long involvement in commercial paleontology, he has worked as a research scientist (biologist), educator, nature camp director, and animal trainer for the film industry.

After graduating from university, Jim eagerly embarked on a journey to the Amazon jungle. In Leticia, Colombia his fieldwork concerned the endangered Amazonian manatee. Later, his research focus shifted to the population biology and ecology of Caiman Yacare, a crocodilian in a remote region of the lowlands of Bolivia. Up until that point, very little was known about this elusive species.

Upon returning from the Amazon, Jim worked at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto in the Ichthyology and Herpetology Department (Fish, Reptiles and Amphibians). During his 5 years at the museum, he was involved in many research projects, including a Mayan archaeological dig in Lamanai, Belize (analyzing faunal remains). Educating the public has been a high priority for Jim. For 16 years he co-directed the Toronto Nature Centre summer children’s camp with his wife, Liz. During this time he also presented hundreds of hands-on wildlife programs to children and adults across Canada.

                                          

Peter Lovisek, Director

Peter Lovisek, President and CEO

Peter is fossil dealer, marathon runner and proud cockapoo "dad" - he lives in Ottawa, Canada with his lovely fiancee, Helene. Learning about science and nature has been a lifelong passion for him. At the University of Toronto, he studied biological psychology and anthropology; however, his academic interests are far-reaching and include evolutionary biology, the philosophy of science, as well as art history. 

Some of Peter's best memories include the numerous family outings to collect fossils or prospect for minerals. His enthusiasm for natural history continued to develop at his parents' summer camp - the Toronto Nature Centre - first as a camper, then as an instructor. 

Peter is committed to educating people about palaeontology and geology: he developed hands-on workshops for elementary schoolchildren on the history of life and human evolution. Most recently, he founded Fossil Realm Magazine - an online publication with a special focus on careers in palaeontology. Peter has contributed philanthropic gifts to the Royal Ontario Museum and he has participated as a member of the Young Patrons' Circle, an organization that supports the Museum's exhibitions, educational initiatives, research and expeditions. He strongly encourages involvement in organizations like the the YPC!