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digit posted a topic in Fossil Hunting TripsThe 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
It's been a couple of weeks, but here's a short report on the first CCFMS (Central Canadian Federation of Mineralogical Societies) trip to Hungry Hollow. This was a trip open to any member of an Ontario club, but the turnout was far less than a Niagara/London club trip earlier in the spring. Those of us who were there focused on the South pit, but the finds, at least anything decent, were few and far between. I don't think any blastoids were found but there was a nice enrolled Eldredgeops picked off the floor of the pit. I pocketed any brachs and gastropods that were complete, but none were anything new to me. It wasn't all routine though as I did manage to upgrade a couple of species and add something totally new to my collection. I always check larger horn corals- and there are lots- for hitchhikers and that paid off when I found a much larger colony of the bryozoan Botryllopora socialis than what I'd ever found previously. Another upgrade was a small piece covered in Hederella. Not giant, but still bigger than the one piece I'd found before. As I was wrapping up my time in the pit, I came across a large (for the HH formation) slab with what I first assumed to be an encrusting bryozoan. I looked at it under magnification and it didn't look like any bryo I'd ever seen before. I asked a couple of others and they thought the same as me. They suggested possibly fish plate, but the colour was not the normal dark blue-gray. The piece was identified later by our own Crinus and another friend as a Stromatoporoid. Not everyone would be excited by that, but it made my trip. Usually the largest things one can find in the HH is horn corals and occasionally large Favosites colonies. This Stromatoporoid remaining relatively large and intact is a rarity. I've included 3 pics of it -one with a scale, one with different lighting to highlight the mamelons (bumps) and a close-up so you can see why bryozoan didn't seem right.
This is not what I imagined for a first tooth find (at least I think it's a tooth), not even close. Found this earlier in the empty lot next to the hotel I work at (we own the lot as well). Just laying there, partly buried & I almost stepped on it. Its extremely light, just 9.7 gm or 3/4 oz and in very bad shape. 1 5/16 inches long x 1 3/16 inches wide. I realize it's most likely modern, but I still want to know just what mouth this came out of if possible.