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Found 20 results

  1. Here is a photo heavy and (for me) text light posting showing the sequence of Tammy and I finding a partial softshell turtle (Apalone sp.) carapace in the field at Montbrook (which was jacketed and removed on the last day of the spring digging season). I pulled the jacked and prepped the carapace over the course of a few months. The jacket was made in the field on 5-May-2021 and I retrieved the jacket (#573) from the storage area on 10-Jun-2021 and completed the prep today 23-Sep-2021. Lots of excavation into the jacket and cleaning and re-attaching parts. The pectoral girdle (scapula and coro
  2. I'm putting out an open call for any collectors who have any reasonably complete tortoise or turtle material from the Peace River (or its tributaries) or even possibly Bone Valley material from the quarries in the area. I'm working with Jason Bourque in the fossil prep lab on the campus of UF here in Gainesville (presently working on an 18 Ma gator skull from the Thomas Farm site). Jason is reassembling some turtle specimens that had been collected in Florida that have been languishing in the collection for decades. He's presently reassembling a giant tortoise plastron collected in the 1980s.
  3. For the last several weeks Tammy and I have been volunteer digging every Wednesday and Saturday at the Montbrook site a little south of Gainesville (FL) with the Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH). The weather called for continuous light drizzle all day yesterday (Saturday) so we bumped the dig day to today (Sunday) instead. Normally, Sunday and Monday are the non-digging days at the site but the other days are occupied by small groups of volunteers and site managers. This morning was clear and cool with a steady breeze from the north. This meant several layers while packing
  4. Tammy and I have been volunteering at the Montbrook dig site in north-central Florida every Wednesday and Saturday for a while. We're part of a small group of local volunteer diggers who've been able to dig the site during the pandemic. We have a maximum of 6 people at the site with 4 volunteers (aka retired people who'd rather not golf or watch daytime TV) and 2 from the museum. Over the last couple of weeks we've worked to take out several gomphothere bones that have turned up in the grid squares that we've been working. Two Saturdays ago we started the jacket on the remaining part of a gomp
  5. The spring 2021 digging session opened last week at the Montbrook site in north central Florida. It is a short drive from Gainesville where Tammy and I relocated last summer. One of the reasons for choosing Gainesville as our new home is so that we can volunteer more with the Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH). It is really great to be able to do a day of volunteer digging at the Miocene Montbrook site without a 5 hour trip up from South Florida and hotel reservations. Previously, we'd book a 3-4 day span of volunteer digging to make the trip worth the effort. Being able to dig for a si
  6. digit

    Gopher? Go figure!

    Since moving from South Florida up to Gainesville I've finally been about to help the Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH) with some volunteer effort by picking through washed and dried matrix that was collected back in 2018 from the Montbrook site just a little way south of Gainesville. Tammy and I have spent several days over the last couple of years volunteering to dig our assigned 1 m x 1 m squares at the site bagging up the smaller fossils and excavating pedestals for larger specimens to be jacketed. Most of the sandy/silty matrix does not have very interesting micro-fossils but ther
  7. After a year and a half of searching followed by 6 months of time and effort related to buying, packing, moving, unpacking, and selling, Tammy and I are finally translocated to the Gainesville, FL area and out of South Florida. Hopefully, we'll have less hurricanes to deal with and significantly less year-round yard work to tend to. I'm leaving the riding lawn mower behind and hope to do less weeding and yard work in the new house. We specifically looked for a house without a lot of grass to mow and our house has only a narrow strip adjoining our neighbor's lawn. Our neighbor's son owns a lawn
  8. Just came back from an afternoon at the FLMNH vertebrate paleontology warehouse sorting through bone bags from the Montbrook site. Richard Hulbert, Collection Manager, was there as well working on cataloging specimens from the trays of catalogable specimens that I'd separated from the scrappy bones last month. He came over to show me a set of 3 neural bones from the carapace of the Trachemys slider turtle that is ubiquitous at the site. I remember seeing these 3 bones (neurals 3 through 5) that run along the midline of the turtle's upper shell (carapace) when I determined they were associated
  9. Had another busy and enjoyable afternoon volunteering at the FLMNH vertebrate paleontology warehouse which was part of the reason why Tammy and I moved up to Gainesville. This afternoon started out with sorting the bones from non-bone for the last couple of bags of the > 1/4" chunky matrix pieces from sandbags collected at the Montbrook site in 2017. Now they can start screen-washing 2018...and then 2019...and maybe someday get caught-up to the present. In some of my first 1/4" matrix bags, sorting the complete bones (to be cataloged) from the scrappy broken bones, I had missed
  10. Anybody who has read my recent posts already knows that Tammy and I moved from South Florida to Gainesville so that we could volunteer more with the paleontology department of the Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH). Moving out of hurricane prone South Florida and downsizing to a more manageable size house with less yardwork were additional considerations. I've been picking through micro-matrix from the Montbrook site where we often volunteer to dig in the field. It's a late Miocene site which looks to have been a river system much like the modern day Peace River. The site p
  11. Still fossil hunting indoors during the summer (and the pandemic) amusing myself (and helping the FLMNH) by picking through micro-matrix from the Montbrook dig site in Florida. I've made some other posts featuring the interesting micros I've been finding to try to share a bit of the world of micro-fossils with a wider audience (Florida has more than megalodon teeth). I was picking through a sample of Montbrook micro-matrix. It was collected back in 2018 and was subsequently washed, dried, and sat in a zip-top bag for years awaiting someone to spend about a dozen hours picking thro
  12. digit

    Peace River fun!

    After a long long wait, the periodic heavy rains that have repeatedly pushed the water level of the Peace River up and out of range for Florida fossil hunters, our "dry season" is finally starting to act like the non-rainy part of our year. Tammy and I got out two weekends ago with a group of SCUBAnauts from the Tampa/St. Pete area. While checking the levels right before that trip, I visited one of my favorite spots along the river to see if it would be accessible for the group. The water two weeks ago was nearly a foot higher than at present but even with the higher level the locality worked
  13. For several years now we've been fortunate enough to be able to take part in volunteer digs with the Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH), University of Florida (Gainesville). The site was discovered at the end of 2015 and we've been participating during the dig seasons (the drier cooler part of the year) since 2016. The site is on private property but the landowner is very enlightened and understands the importance of this site which gives a rare glimpse into the Hemphillian North American Land Mammal Age (NALMA) period dating around 5.0-5.5 mya. The owner has been very supportive of let
  14. Archaeohippus mannulus, sp. nov. Monroecreekian/Harrisonian terrestrial claystone Arikareean, late Oligocene/early Miocene Pinellas County, Florida On permanent display at the Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, Fl. I discovered this particular specimen back in 95 while collecting fossils in a shallow creek. Initially thought to be a new species of Miohippus, it was sent to the Museum Of Natural History in Gainesville Fl. for further studies. In 2003 it was determined to be a new species of Archaeohippus rather than Miohippus.
  15. I am packing my bags for a Friday fossil hunt in Belgrade Mine (Quarry) in North Carolina. The trip was coordinated and planned by the Florida Museum of Natural History. I feel honored to get to go on this trip. There is a 3 foot layer in the Miocene that has mammals fossils that we will be hunting. The mine stripped the layer and has it in 5 huge piles for us to search. About 10 known mammals have already been found in Belgrade. Persons from throughout the US were invited along with those from the FLMNH and the Smithsonian. There is a ut
  16. I've written trip reports before about volunteering with the Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH) at their various dig sites in Florida. The currently (very) active site is called Montbrook for a small town that used to be in the area (but is no more). Here are a few links from FLMNH which provide some contextual information about the site: https://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/museum-voices/montbrook/ https://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/florida-vertebrate-fossils/sites/mont/ https://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/museum-voices/montbrook/2016/09/07/why-montbrook/ The site has yielded an im
  17. The Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH) at Gainesville, FL has announced the schedule of digging at the new Montbrook site near Ocala, FL. This is a great opportunity for volunteers to assist in excavating this site alongside representatives from FLMNH who are very knowledgeable in the types of fossils found at the site. I've volunteered for FLMNH digs several times in the past couple of years and always found it a rewarding experience. I managed to make it out twice to the new Montbrook site before the site was closed-up for the summer (heat and rains). The new dig season will kick-off
  18. Over a month ago I mentioned the opportunity to volunteer for a dig with the Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH). In addition to the Thomas Farm sinkhole locality, this year a new opportunity opened up on a small-scale sand mining operation on private property. Some interesting bones were uncovered and the university's vertebrate paleontology department was called to come have a look. They did some initial digging and uncovered rhino and Gomphothere bones with some of them partially articulated. This sounded exciting enough for me to check into. Here's the link to the earlier posting jus
  19. I took the opportunity to volunteer with the Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH) in April of 2014 and had a great time (though it was off to a rough start with a rain out on the first weekend we tried. We finally did manage to do some digging and found a spectacular carnivore mandible toward the end of the dig which was our "trip-maker". For anybody who missed this tale, you can find it here: http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/45220-thomas-farm-volunteer-dig-spring-2014/ I missed the Thomas Farm dig in 2015 as I was out of the country playing a coral reef scientist on TV (o
  20. I'd like to post a trip report for a different kind of fossil hunting adventure. A few weeks ago my wife and I made a trip to Gainesville to celebrate our anniversary. Yes, fellas--if you marry well you can get away with a fossil hunting trip instead of buying a bouquet of roses. We met-up with TFF member Kara (Khyssa) on Saturday to collect some micro-matrix in Rattlesnake Creek. On Sunday we returned to the creek for a little bit to top-off our bucket of micro-matrix and then did some sightseeing in the Gainesville area. The Devil's Millhopper is an interesting geological feature well worth
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