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Found 471 results

  1. Help ID'ing Vertabrae

    I found this vert (?) in the Peace River last week and finally got some better pictures to post in hopes of a possible ID. I believe it is Cetacean and don't know if it is possible to id it any further due to the amount of deterioration caused by tumbling around in the river. Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks.
  2. Last Trip of the Decade

    After the holiday rush that included more rain than expected I thought a great way to end the year and the decade would be to make one last pilgrimage to the Peace River. Upon checking the water levels and discharge flow last night and at 7 am this morning it looked like levels were coming down. Outside temperature was about 60 degrees but I figured with the wetsuit all would be good. So, got to the river about 8:30 am and was surprised to see how high the water level was and how fast it was moving. But after the one hour drive and wanting to get in the year/decade ending trip I put the wetsuit on and headed up river. Getting to the spot I was targeting for the day, shown above, I did find it was deeper then expected. The area in the photo that looks like a bit of fast moving rough water is actually a small set of submerged rapids that has a 3' to 4' drop off when water levels are at their lowest. I took the picture while sitting in the kayak where I would usually be standing on a sandy bank. Not to be deterred I went ahead and started digging and sifting. Had to stay out of the middle of the river and work an area where the water flow wouldn't wash everything right off the shovel before I could lift out. Even with Mother Nature's lack of cooperation on water levels I was still able to come up with some nice finds to wrap up the year. A nice Glyptodont Dermal Scute, 1 1/4" full Meg, partial Meg, an Alligator tooth, couple of small Hemis and a pretty good Tiger shark tooth made the trip worth it. It remained overcast and breezy throughout the morning with the temperature staying in the mid 60 degree range. The water was warmer than the air temp even at noon. At that point I decided to call it a day, year and decade and headed for home. Passed by that deceased alligator still wedged against the log in the river. It was being visited by the friendly neighborhood vulture who has been hanging out there with friends. Could see that it had almost been dislodged by the high, fast moving water but I think it has arrived at its final resting place. Took 2 more photos heading down river that show a tree stretching almost all the way across. Last spring I actually passed up and down the river going under this tree. A combination of the tree shifting and falling lower, and the high water level, means passing by it along the east bank for now. This gets a little tricky when the water level drops due to a submerged pipe that runs across the river and rock a outcropping along the bank. Looking forward to my first 2020 Fossil Adventure in the coming week!!
  3. Friends of ours had their daughter come to visit for the holidays. She likes to rockhound and collect crystals and pan for gold back in the Seattle area where she lives and was eager to try the experience of fossil hunting in the Peace River. The weather (and river level) was looking good till a few days back when that huge mass of unstable air over the southeastern US unleashed torrents of rain. In fact, we were kidding Kelly that it was her presence here that brought the Seattle weather. She had a red-eye flight into Fort Lauderdale airport a few days back and on the morning of her arrival, the FLL airport received 4.5 inches of rain in an hour--shutting down the airport due to runways that were under water! Her flight was diverted to Miami but the airline she was on does not normally fly to MIA and there were no gates nor attendants to great the flight. They sat on the tarmac for 3.5 hours till they could find someone to unload the plane. Of course, they couldn't manage to unload the luggage at Miami and so the plane flew up to Fort Lauderdale later in the day so that the passengers could finally be reunited with their luggage. Hope there were no cruise passengers on that flight or their holiday vacation was well ruined. The bulk of the rain went north and south of the Peace River drainage basin but it did catch enough to push the river level into movement in the wrong direction. Canoe Outpost (where we rented our canoes) has been measuring the river level in Arcadia by calling the "normal" river level the point at which their floating dock is level with the bottom stair of their fixed dock. They declare fossil hunting season "open" when the level is 12" BELOW this "normal" level. The rain had pushed the level to around 9" ABOVE normal or just under 2 feet higher than I'd have liked it to be. We only had Saturday available as a date to try this and so we did. At worst we figured we'd have a relaxing trip down the river by canoe--in the rain! (Did I forget to mention the weather forecast was for warm temps, near 83F, but with an 80% chance of rain?) We chose a 10:00 a.m. departure over my normal choice of 8:00 a.m. which maximizes the workable time on the river with the canoes due back in before 5:00 p.m. This let us sleep in just a few hours more with a departure of 6:00 a.m. instead of 4:00 a.m. We loaded ourselves and the fossil hunting gear, snacks, and change of clothes into our friend's minivan and were off very nearly on schedule. It was an overcast (but dry) trip across state to Arcadia where we arrived in good time to sign in and catch our bus to the put in. We were pleasantly surprised to find Canoe Outpost to be celebrating their 50th year in operation (and Becky, the owner, there for 35 of those years). The peace sign in much of their signs is both a reference to the Peace River and the summer of love that was 1969. To celebrate, the canoe rentals were half-price and our two canoes for the day came for the price of one. I was quite happy to find that, though the levels were higher than I'd hoped for, the large well known gravel bed just downstream from the put-in at Brownville Park was not too deep to work. The current toward the center of the river was ripping and made it tricky to stand up and keep sand/gravel on your shovel as you raised it from the bottom to the sifter. One side of the river was protected somewhat by some trees in the water just upstream and was easily workable. The waist-deep water was comfortably cool (78F) and high enough not to have to bend over much but not too high to work effectively. There were a few other canoes launched with our group but they rolled past us when we stopped to start fossil hunting. We spotted a few additional canoes pass us from the 11:00 a.m. put-in but otherwise (mostly) had the river to ourselves. A large group (tour?) of 9 jet skis came flying up the river while we were taking a lunch break. They slowed just a bit but the wakes definitely caused a stir as the combined waves smacked our canoes pulled up along shore. We were to encounter them again on their return trip downstream a few hours later. This time we were paddling and had to move to the side of the river and point the bow of the canoes into the huge waves to keep from capsizing. Jet skis and canoes simply do not mix well. At least nobody flipped over. It remained a cloudy day with the sun only making a few brief appearances to cast some color on our sifting screens filled with black gravel. We got sprinkled and full-on poured upon several times throughout the day but Tammy even remarked that the warm air temps and a windbreaker jacket actually made the rainy canoe paddling rather pleasant. The warm temps had a number of gators (big and small) out trying to sun themselves on the banks. In total we spotted an even dozen of them in the first half of the trip back to Arcadia. There are fewer good haul-up spots and the fading light toward late afternoon usually means we see few if any gators on the last half of the paddle back downstream. It was interesting seeing the new tree falls along the banks and the other changes to the topography of the river after the summer's floods. It appears that someone's boat had come loose and found itself in a rather non-seaworthy state among the willow trees along one bank. A good example of the power of the river in flood stage! We tried to get into a deeper spot on the river that for some unknown reason is chocked full of dugong rib bones. It has larger chunky gravel and so I like to look there for the promise of larger fossils (like meg teeth). I like to take newbies to the river to this site as they can then collect multiple "paleo paperweights" as I call them and maybe come away with a meg tooth (or at least a decent fragment). We pulled to canoes to the bank at this spot and I got out to check it for depth. The bottom usually slopes down from a sticky/slipper/stinky muddy bank into a deeper channel a few meters from shore before becoming more shallow rising up onto a bit of a sand bank. I walked (slid) out into deeper water and got to neck level without it ever getting shallower and so (as I feared) this site was simply impossible at this river level. We paddled on to a final spot I like to stop at which has only fine pea gravel but often provides a copious number of smaller dime size shark teeth. I enjoy taking groups with kids there as we have a competition to see how many shark teeth per screen we can find. I believe the record still stands at 26. This site is also quite shallow (even dry sand bars when the river is good and low) and so I knew we'd have no problems there--it was my ace in the hole in case the other locations were all not accessible. In addition to many nice tiny teeth it also delivered some surprises.
  4. Holiday Hunt

    Headed back to the Peace River yesterday after a 17 day absence. Water level and flow were a bit higher than I would have liked due to recent rainfall. I just couldn't stay away any longer! When I started the journey to the river the weather was cool and partly cloudy. Half way there I ran into light rain and fog and began to worry I had made a bad choice to make the trip (rain prediction was 50%). When I got to the river I had to prep the kayak under cover as the rain was coming down heavily. It tapered off as I donned my wetsuit and I set out under cloudy skies. Had almost made it to my planned hunting spot when the skies opened again with a downpour that forced me to hug the bank and hide under some low branches. It stopped raining after about 10 minutes and I continued on. After beaching the kayak I made my usual bank inspection. I reached down at one point and pulled up a handful of gravel from a crevice between some roots. Discovered a nice 1" Tiger shark tooth in my hand to start the day! Worked the area for the rest of the morning and pulled up another four tigers and a 1 3/4" partial Meg along with several other misc teeth. At one point a very large vulture landed on a log in the river within 30' of where I was digging. It sat there for about 15 minutes. It was unusual for it to be so close, and made me wonder if it thought I was it's next meal! Later, after it had left I circled over near where it had been sitting to work the area and finally noticed what the vulture was really interested in. There was a dead alligator, about a 10 footer, wedged belly up under an adjacent log. The alligator was covered with flies and bloated so its true size was hard to determine, but I could see it had some big feet with huge claws! Needless to say, I moved a bit away from the area to continue digging. Came up with some mammoth teeth fragments and a vertebra in the afternoon. Vert is 2" x 1 3/4" x 1 1/2". I will post it separately in the Fossil ID section once I have better photos in hopes of a possible id. attached are photos of the best finds of the day. No photo of the alligator as I was afraid I would drop the phone in the river! It also was not very photogenic.
  5. My trips to the Peace this year so far have been so disappointing, I've resorted to bringing home unidentifiable bone scraps. The following photos show 2 of the latest. The one on the right is similar in density to dugong ribs, so it may merely be a tumbled vert, but the angled faces confused me. The other little bone is wedge shaped and looks to have articulating surfaces on the broader edge. Appreciate any suggestions you might have. Thanks.
  6. I have spent many hours on this forum, but this is the first time I am posting because this inner ear bone has me completely stumped. It is the first inner ear bone I have found, and it appears to be the periotic of a small/medium cetacean. I see strong similarities with some dolphins and pygmy sperm whale specimens also pulled from the Peace River in Arcadia, FL, but none that really match up. I am new to identifying anything beyond teeth, but I was excited to find this and would love to have a better idea of what animal it is from.
  7. Peace River Tooth

    Is this a tooth? Any help is appreciated.
  8. Baffled by this one.

    Found this in the Peace River in the spring and have been trying to find something to compare it to ever since. Haven't been able to find anything like it. It has the appearance of shell or coral. The color is a dull gray and it has the look and feel of metal. Don't know if it is any type of fossil or just a suggestive "something". If anyone has seen anything similar or has any idea what it is your input would be appreciated.
  9. Seeking ID help

    Found this specimen in an area of the Peace River where I have found partial Mammoth, Mastodon & Gomp teeth. Also have found a small piece of fossil ivory nearby. I think this latest find is a piece of a tusk. Any input from those with more experience would be appreciated. Thanks!
  10. Help requested with 2 more.

    Sorry to create three separate posts here, I just thought trying to get it all on one would get jumbled and confusing. I feel confident these last two are bone but have not been able to come up with an idea as to what they could be. The first specimen has indents on both ends but is clearly not hollow. Second specimen appears almost ear shaped. Any input/suggestions would be helpful and appreciated.
  11. ID Help Please 2 items

    Two additional finds from the Peace River this week. The first I believe to be a Tilly Bone/Fish Ballast. But looking closer once I got it home, I thought it had the look of enamel. I also noticed striations that appeared to circle the specimen. That said I hope someone here can give me an ID. The second item is what I believe to be a small vertebrate. Any input on this would also be appreciated.
  12. ID Help

    Attached photos are a bone I found Tuesday in the Peace River. I am leaning toward antler from research I have done thus far. Please forgive me if the photos are a little blurred. I think they may be sufficient for an ID. Any help with ID would be appreciated.
  13. Early Oct hunt

    Wanted to share a bit if a surprise from my visit to the Peace River the first week of Oct. I posted a trip report earlier from that visit, but left this specimen out. At the time I wasn't sure what it was and was leaning toward - just a suggestively shaped rock. Being a novice fossil hunter I am still hesitant in making any fossil id's. So I dug this thing up out of the river and gave it a serious look. It was heavy, dense and looked a lot like bone to me. I couldn't come up with what kind of a bone it could be and was thinking it was just my creative imagination. It was most likely just a rock. I placed it on the bank and went back to digging. At the end of the day I gave it another look and decided not to take it home. But, I did place it back under water in a spot where I could find it again. I thought I would do some searching on line and see it I could find something similar. Fast forward two weeks. Back at the river digging in the same spot I pulled the item out and looked it over again. Placed it on the bank still trying to decide if I should take it. Later in the day while still digging away I was surprised to see a fellow Fossil Forum member appear - @Shellseeker! I took the opportunity to show him the item. He agreed that it did appear to be bone. He thought it had to be from a large animal, but was not able to hazard a guess as to what. At that point I decided taking it home for further investigation was warranted. After getting the specimen home photos with measurements were taken and sent off to Dr Hulbert at the Florida Museum of Natural History. Dr Hulbert responded within a few hours saying that from the photos he thought it could well be bone, possibly dugong. But he did not rule out that it was just an oddly shaped piece of phosphate as it looked solid from the initial photos. As luck would have it, I was due to travel to Tallahassee from south Florida this past Friday. I asked Dr Hulbert if he would take a look at the item in person if I stopped in at his UF office on the way. He agreed and I visited him Friday. Upon looking at the specimen he related it was clearly bone, much larger and heavier then he thought from the photos. He then stated that based on its size the only thing it could be is Proboscidean. Further, that the only bone with the weight and density to match would be the jaw. So, what I could not decide was or was not a rock turns out to be a section of the jaw bone of a Mammoth or Mastodon as determined by Dr Hulbert. I feel mighty lucky to have found this specimen to go along with the Mammoth and Mastodon partial teeth I found earlier this year. I also feel extremely lucky to have found this great forum that is full of such knowledgeable members. A special thank you to @Shellseeker for floating by unexpectedly and giving me his opinion on the questionable specimen! Attached are a couple of pictures of the section of jaw bone.
  14. Help with Unk Bone

    I found this bone in the Peace River on my last visit before the recent storm. Hoping to get some help with an identification and don't really know if that is even possible. Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks.
  15. Holmesina Osteoderm

    I've posted this fossil a few times on the forum to mixed results, lacking a definitive answer. Through some more in depth internet searching I now believe this fossil which I found back in February of 2018 on the Peace River in Florida is a worn osteoderm belonging to Holmesina or a close relative. I want to see if others agree with this idea. It's about 2.5 cm across.
  16. Stumped on these two

    I am having a tough time coming up with what these two teeth are. When I first pulled them out of the river I thought horse. Then looking closer I began to question that assumption because of the hollowness seen in both. Looking on line and through my Neophyte's Guide I then found a similar looking Sirenia molar. But then I also found a Neohipparium Eurystyle unerupted lower molar that looked like a possibility. Any help clarifying the ID on these would be appreciated.
  17. Sawfish Vert ?

    Out hunting today. Interesting location. Mostly marine, but did pick up some Equus teeth at the end. I have a couple of Sawfish verts. Is this another ?
  18. The last couple of fossil hunting seasons on the Peace River have been pretty short and limited. In 2017 Hurricane Irma made a mess of Florida and pretty much ran directly over the Peace River causing unbelievable flooding in the area (Canoe Outpost in Arcadia had to rebuild their office after the waters rose to waist-deep). Last season frequent periodic heavy rains kept spiking up the river level anytime it got down near levels that would have permitted decent fossil hunting. Both seasons were very brief but persistent fossil hunters (driven nearly mad from the waiting) did manage to pull some nice fossils from the rivers and creeks despite the limited opportunities. This season Florida seems to have relocated the switch for the secret hurricane repulsion device and we have been spared any storms. The northern Bahamas sadly were not so lucky and that is a continuing mess that will take more than a year to try to recover from. I remember a time nearly a decade ago when the vagaries of the weather patterns conspired to put Florida into drought conditions. It was a weird year for weather all around. We had a strong blast of cold air from the north that, instead of being repelled quickly, held on for an extended period. This caused enormous fish kills in Florida Bay where the shallow waters quickly cooled below the tolerance of many species and stuck around long enough to make a severe impact. I worked on a project monitoring coral reef health on the Florida reef tract which usually looks for coral bleaching and mortality during the peak-of-summer water heating events. It was a mild year for bleaching but corals are also susceptible to temps below their liking and an estimated one sixth of all corals in the Florida reef tract died during that two-week period over the winter of 2009-10 (some reefs experienced a 75% reduction in corals). In 2010 the rainy season failed to appear as expected and by autumn we were under water conservation restrictions with limits on the days that we could water to try to resurrect our brown hay into lawns. I can remember being in the Peace River nine years ago to the day on Sunday, 10-10-10 near Arcadia. The river was so low that it was virtually impossible to navigate without getting out and dragging the canoe over large sandbars only a few inches deep. It was an interesting time to see parts of the bottom of the Peace River that were normally hidden by deep dark water. It was early enough in my fossil hunting experience that I likely did not take appropriate advantage of the deeper holes which might have produced some prizes that were normally off limits. http://www.canoeoutpost.com/peace/showpage.asp?page=waterlevel I just checked the Canoe Outpost water level page and the river is at their "normal" datum point. This is when the level of their floating dock aligns with their fixed dock. Fossil hunting usually starts about a foot below this and gets really good about two feet below. If we can avoid any late season hurricanes we might have an early start and (finally) a nice long fossil hunting season in South Florida. I'm assuming that the Florida regulars @jcbshark @Sacha @Shellseeker @Bone Daddy and others are keeping their eyes on the water levels and hoping for a productive season to make up for the last two. Looking forward to seeing an over-abundance of nice finds this season. Cheers. -Ken
  19. Petrified wood?

    Picked this up from the Peace River last week. Started to toss it to the bank thinking - another piece of dugong - then I noticed striations on all sides and both ends. They don't appear to be cross - hatch (Schreger-Patterns) but raised my curiosity to a level that made me keep it in the hopes of an ID. The lines are hard to see in the photos but are dashes (- - - - - - ) in most cases and sometimes form a vee pattern. Any input would be appreciated.
  20. ID Help Please

    Picked up the below partial tooth on the first trip to the Peace River for the new season on Friday. Was pretty sure it was a partial Mastodon tooth. After searching numerous images I am now thinking it could be Gomph. Any help with a positive ID would be greatly appreciated. Sorry the ruler became blurred as the focus was concentrated on the tooth. Size is 2" x 2" by 2.5" high.
  21. Opening Day!

    I have been watching water levels and flow gauges for the last two weeks hoping for a continued drop as the dry season seems to have arrived in Florida. I headed east for the 1 hour drive to Wachula this morning when I saw the drop in flow rate and water level last night to a manageable level. It was a beautiful morning and a peaceful drive through cow pastures and orange orchards. That is unil I got about half way there. Suddenly there was a tremendous Bam! on the left rear passenger side of my jeep. Thought I had been hit by an anti tank round! A quick look in the side view mirror revealed a six point buck flopping around in the middle of the road. He had sprung out of an orange orchard at full speed and slammed into the left rear door of the jeep. By the time I hit the brake he was back on his feet and running back into the orchard. A quick check of the jeep showed a small dent (about the size of a quarter) in the left rear door and minor damage to the rear wheel cover, hair was all over the side. Once I realized there was no serious damage I figured there was only one thing to do. Get to the river and find something good! Upon arrival I found the river to be flowing at a very reasonable pace and I wasted no time in getting my kyack loaded and launched. It was interesting to see all the new obstacles left by the summer rains. Several new trees down that had to be skirted and quite a few limbs poking up from out of the water to be avoided. I arrived at my chosen spot that had been producing nice finds in the spring and found a very large palm tree down blocking easy access. I beached the kyack and walked around the tree scanning the shoreline as I went. I immediately saw some horse teeth in about an inch of water for my first find of the day. Scanning the area I saw another interesting object poking out of the sand that looked like some kind of enamel on rock. When I pulled it out I was greeted with a small but nice partial mastodon tooth. This was before I even got the shovel and sifter out of the kyack! Spent the rest of the day digging and sifting with some additional nice finds. All in all a good day. Photos below.
  22. Sm bone

    It feels good to get back to river hunting, slightly early this year. My hunting friend found this bone and asked if I could get an ID. There seems to be some features that possibly identify the "type" of bone (humerus, scapel, etc) versus which animal. It is 3.2 length x 1.1 height (inches). Found in the Pleistocene - miocene mix that is the Peace River. However, most of the associated fossils were shark, fish or marine mammal (porpoise earbone & verts), so marine is a possibility. ALL comments & suggestions are greatly appreciated. Jack
  23. I was kayaking and fossiling this weekend with my sister and her husband in the Peace River in Gardner, Fl. and she found a vert and I am having a hard time trying to figure out what it belongs too. At first I thought it was whale but it's too small and as for a gator the shape looks different so any help would be appreciated :-)
  24. Pristine Peace River Tooth

    This tooth is an outlier in my collection because it’s the only really nice Peace River fossil I’ve ever found... but it’s a beauty. Pronounced bourlette and serrations all around, and that lovely tannin brown *chefs kiss*. As an Aurora guy, I’d call this Carcharhinus obscurus. Does that prognosis still hold for Florida? thank you all!
  25. Odd chunk of bone.

    I recently bought a box of fossils from @Bone Daddy that included a "grab bag" of items found in the Peace River. One of them is odd looking, at least to me. 6.5 cm long x 3.75 cm wide x 2 cm at its thickest. Its got enough curves & slopes that my camera wasn't sure where to focus & I have no photo stacking software, so please bear with me. Not sure if it's just really odd weathering or how this particular bone looks normally, but the under side has sort of ripples running the length of it, all joining at a "point". Pics are of the top, bottom, both sides & 2 of the butt end, 1 of which is a close up. No idea if this is anything special or not, but that's why I'm here. Awesome or dud, either way, it's mine & special for that. So now.. on with the pics. Not sure why 2 of them rotated, but..