Jump to content

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'flmnh'.



More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
    Tags should be keywords or key phrases. e.g. carcharodon, pliocene, cypresshead formation, florida.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Forums

  • Fossil Discussion
    • General Fossil Discussion
    • Fossil Hunting Trips
    • Fossil ID
    • Is It Real? How to Recognize Fossil Fabrications
    • Partners in Paleontology - Member Contributions to Science
    • Questions & Answers
    • Fossil of the Month
    • Member Collections
    • A Trip to the Museum
    • Paleo Re-creations
    • Collecting Gear
    • Fossil Preparation
    • Member Fossil Trades Bulletin Board
    • Member-to-Member Fossil Sales
    • Fossil News
  • Gallery
  • Fossil Sites
    • Africa
    • Asia
    • Australia - New Zealand
    • Canada
    • Europe
    • Middle East
    • South America
    • United States
  • Fossil Media
    • Members Websites
    • Fossils On The Web
    • Fossil Photography
    • Fossil Literature
    • Documents

Blogs

  • Anson's Blog
  • Mudding Around
  • Nicholas' Blog
  • dinosaur50's Blog
  • Traviscounty's Blog
  • Seldom's Blog
  • tracer's tidbits
  • Sacredsin's Blog
  • fossilfacetheprospector's Blog
  • jax world
  • echinoman's Blog
  • Ammonoidea
  • Traviscounty's Blog
  • brsr0131's Blog
  • brsr0131's Blog
  • Adventures with a Paddle
  • Caveat emptor
  • -------
  • Fig Rocks' Blog
  • placoderms
  • mosasaurs
  • ozzyrules244's Blog
  • Sir Knightia's Blog
  • Terry Dactyll's Blog
  • shakinchevy2008's Blog
  • MaHa's Blog
  • Stratio's Blog
  • ROOKMANDON's Blog
  • Phoenixflood's Blog
  • Brett Breakin' Rocks' Blog
  • Seattleguy's Blog
  • jkfoam's Blog
  • Erwan's Blog
  • Erwan's Blog
  • Lindsey's Blog
  • marksfossils' Blog
  • ibanda89's Blog
  • Liberty's Blog
  • Liberty's Blog
  • Back of Beyond
  • St. Johns River Shark Teeth/Florida
  • Ameenah's Blog
  • gordon's Blog
  • West4me's Blog
  • West4me's Blog
  • Pennsylvania Perspectives
  • michigantim's Blog
  • michigantim's Blog
  • lauraharp's Blog
  • lauraharp's Blog
  • micropterus101's Blog
  • micropterus101's Blog
  • GPeach129's Blog
  • nicciann's Blog
  • Olenellus' Blog
  • nicciann's Blog
  • maybe a nest fossil?
  • Deep-Thinker's Blog
  • Deep-Thinker's Blog
  • bear-dog's Blog
  • javidal's Blog
  • Digging America
  • John Sun's Blog
  • John Sun's Blog
  • Ravsiden's Blog
  • Jurassic park
  • The Hunt for Fossils
  • The Fury's Grand Blog
  • julie's ??
  • Hunt'n 'odonts!
  • falcondob's Blog
  • Monkeyfuss' Blog
  • cyndy's Blog
  • pattyf's Blog
  • pattyf's Blog
  • chrisf's Blog
  • chrisf's Blog
  • nola's Blog
  • mercyrcfans88's Blog
  • Emily's PRI Adventure
  • trilobite guy's Blog
  • xenacanthus' Blog
  • barnes' Blog
  • myfossiltrips.blogspot.com
  • HeritageFossils' Blog
  • Fossilefinder's Blog
  • Fossilefinder's Blog
  • Emily's MotE Adventure
  • farfarawy's Blog
  • Microfossil Mania!
  • A Novice Geologist
  • Southern Comfort
  • Eli's Blog
  • andreas' Blog
  • Recent Collecting Trips
  • retired blog
  • Stocksdale's Blog
  • andreas' Blog test
  • fossilman7's Blog
  • Hey Everyone :P
  • fossil maniac's Blog
  • Piranha Blog
  • xonenine's blog
  • xonenine's Blog
  • Fossil collecting and SAFETY
  • Detrius
  • pangeaman's Blog
  • pangeaman's Blog
  • pangeaman's Blog
  • Jocky's Blog
  • Jocky's Blog
  • Kehbe's Kwips
  • RomanK's Blog
  • Prehistoric Planet Trilogy
  • mikeymig's Blog
  • Western NY Explorer's Blog
  • Regg Cato's Blog
  • VisionXray23's Blog
  • Carcharodontosaurus' Blog
  • What is the largest dragonfly fossil? What are the top contenders?
  • Hihimanu Hale
  • Test Blog
  • jsnrice's blog
  • Lise MacFadden's Poetry Blog
  • BluffCountryFossils Adventure Blog
  • meadow's Blog
  • Makeing The Unlikley Happen
  • KansasFossilHunter's Blog
  • DarrenElliot's Blog
  • jesus' Blog
  • A Mesozoic Mosaic
  • Dinosaur comic
  • Zookeeperfossils
  • Cameronballislife31's Blog
  • My Blog
  • TomKoss' Blog
  • A guide to calcanea and astragali
  • Group Blog Test
  • Paleo Rantings of a Blockhead
  • Dead Dino is Art
  • The Amber Blog
  • TyrannosaurusRex's Facts
  • PaleoWilliam's Blog
  • The Paleo-Tourist
  • The Community Post
  • Lyndon D Agate Johnson's Blog
  • BRobinson7's Blog
  • Eastern NC Trip Reports
  • Toofuntahh's Blog
  • Pterodactyl's Blog
  • A Beginner's Foray into Fossiling
  • Micropaleontology blog
  • Pondering on Dinosaurs
  • Fossil Preparation Blog
  • On Dinosaurs and Media
  • cheney416's fossil story
  • jpc
  • Red-Headed Red-Neck Rock-Hound w/ My Trusty HellHound Cerberus
  • Red Headed
  • Paleo-Profiles
  • Walt's Blog
  • Between A Rock And A Hard Place
  • Rudist digging at "Point 25", St. Bartholom√§, Styria, Austria (Campanian, Gosau-group)
  • Prognathodon saturator 101

Calendars

  • Calendar

Categories

  • Annelids
  • Arthropods
    • Crustaceans
    • Insects
    • Trilobites
    • Other Arthropods
  • Brachiopods
  • Cnidarians (Corals, Jellyfish, Conulariids )
    • Corals
    • Jellyfish, Conulariids, etc.
  • Echinoderms
    • Crinoids & Blastoids
    • Echinoids
    • Other Echinoderms
    • Starfish and Brittlestars
  • Forams
  • Graptolites
  • Molluscs
    • Bivalves
    • Cephalopods (Ammonites, Belemnites, Nautiloids)
    • Gastropods
    • Other Molluscs
  • Sponges
  • Bryozoans
  • Other Invertebrates
  • Ichnofossils
  • Plants
  • Chordata
    • Amphibians & Reptiles
    • Birds
    • Dinosaurs
    • Fishes
    • Mammals
    • Sharks & Rays
    • Other Chordates
  • *Pseudofossils ( Inorganic objects , markings, or impressions that resemble fossils.)

Found 9 results

  1. 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 for the group (11 canoes of kids and their accompanying adults). I like this site because it has more chunky gravel which results (on rare occasions) in finding larger items. I've pulled substantial chunks of mammoth molar from this site several years ago--as well as a gold wedding band (no inscription) and a gold tie tack (no Jimmy Hoffa jokes, please). The main draw though is dugong. Though fossil hunters who've spent any amount of time on the Peace generally have their share of the solid rib bones from these cousins of our modern-day manatee, newbies to the concept of fossil hunting in Florida never fail to enjoy these large and substantial items. Tammy and I went back this weekend without the crowd of two dozen we were guiding on the river at the end of March. We went on a Sunday and the river was reasonably quiet and peaceful. We met another couple on the bus ride up to the put-in and gave them some tips on hunting the river as it was their first time. They were the recipients of many fossils and fraglodons that (while interesting) would probably would have either ended back in the river or handed out to kids in passing canoes. I was prospecting around my "dugong" site (that's what it is called in my GPS ) and could feel with my feet the little pits and piles of chunky rubble left over from our last visit stripping out countless dozens of dugong ribs now scattered in the nascent collections of those we took down the river on our previous visit. Most of the site is still too deep to get to even with the river 10" lower than last time. The air and water temps were much more pleasant than last time and it didn't take as much motivation to walk into chest-deep water. I dug for about 4 hours and had little to show for it other than a bag of nice specimens of dugong ribs (to reload my "paleo paperweight" gifting stockpile). After a break back at the canoe for a drink and some more salty snacks, I ventured off in the direction where I used to dig but which was now probably too deep to dig. En route to that spot I passed a rise in the bottom that was so steep that it looked like I was walking up submerged steps till I was only thigh deep in the river. My trusty probe--which I carry like a walking cane, probing the sand with each step to test the subsurface composition of the river bottom--detected the delightful crunchy sound indicating some substantial gravel deposits not far below the sandy covering along the bottom. I did a test screen from this spot and was rewarded with a nice little Whitetail Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) molar. These are not as common (in my experience) as the Equus horse molars that are occasional finds in the Peace. This one came complete with a reasonable portion of the roots intact and will bolster my meager number of these in my collection. A few screens later would end up bringing in my trip-makers and the high point of the afternoon. While picking through the contents of that screen I spotted the very distinctive shape of a peg-like tooth from a member of the order Xenarthra ("strange joint") aka Edentata ("toothless"). I have just a few similar but larger teeth from ground sloths which are highly valued by Florida collectors. A few years back I found a similar but smaller peg tooth that turned to be from the armadillo Holmesina floridanus. I assumed this tooth might be from a larger individual but was pleased to learn more in a quick response to my query from Dr. Richard Hulbert from the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville, FL. Richard confirmed that the peg tooth was from a Holmesina but that it was from the larger (2 meter long) species, Holmesina septentrionalis, that roamed Florida from the middle to late Pleistocene (500,000 to 11,000 years ago). The smaller H. floridanus that preceded it was in Florida from the late Pliocene to the early Pleistocene (2.5-1.5 mya). Contained in that screen was a very oddly shaped bone with curved parts and flat articulating surfaces. I assumed this was one of those odd bones in the leg like the navicular bone that I hear about but haven't seen enough examples of to fully understand or recognize. Richard commented that, the odd-shape bone that appeared in the same sifting screen was, coincidentally, from the same species (H. septentrionalis) and that it was an astragalus which articulates with the navicular so I get points for being close. Then he added something that made my whole morning: This is actually a rare find, especially in the southern half of Florida, for which we do not have a single H. septentrionalis astragalus in our collection. Please consider donating it. I quickly replied that I'd set this aside and would bring it up with me next time I visit Gainesville (where Tammy and I are looking for our next house). You can bet I'll be keen to get back up to the Peace to see if any other Holmesina bits might be hiding in the gravel nearby. These two items are likely not associated and it was probably just luck that I'd come across two very different items from the same rare species in a single sifting screen. If the two pieces were closely related in the skeletal structure I'd believe that they might from the same individual but I believe this is probably just a happy coincidence. A couple more hours of digging in the same area turned up no further identifiable bits from this species but you can be certain that I'll devote some extra effort to that spot next time on the river. Enjoy the wrinkly finger tips in the in-river photos below. Cheers. -Ken
  2. 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 letting the museum (and its staff, students, and volunteers) onto his property and even helps quite frequently using his excavators to clear the overburden and manage the site for drainage. You can learn more about the site and the finds here: https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/montbrook/ We were previously out to the site last November digging in the main pit. Tammy found some nice gomphothere bones and I dug a rather sterile sandy grid square but happened upon a cache of over a dozen associated gator osteoderms--both the larger circular ones from the back and the elongated ones from the border of the tail. The site is closing for the season at the end of March so we found some time in our schedule to make the trip north for a final dig before the site gets tarped for the summer. We had planned on heading up on Sunday evening for the dig on Monday through Wednesday but it is nice to have flexibility in our schedule. Tammy and I are looking to relocate to the Gainesville area so that I can volunteer more with the FLMNH (and attend these digs more often). We've been looking at houses in the Gainesville area for several months now and periodically make the 5 hour drive from South Florida to see properties of interest. Late Thursday a property that looked interesting popped-up. We decided to modify our schedule to drive up early Friday morning instead. Unfortunately, (as is often the case) the house and property looked better online than in person. We visited a few other newer properties in the area and then decided to head up to Jacksonville (about a 1.5 hour drive) to stay with friends over the weekend. Hotels tend to bump up their rates over the weekends--We've seen hotel rates triple in Gainesville when the alumni return for Florida Gators home football games. We spent an enjoyable weekend with our friends up in JAX and headed back down on Sunday (getting in an open house viewing before checking into our hotel in Gainesville). We were ready for our 3-day dig at Montbrook starting the next morning.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 utube video discussing the objects of the hunt. https://www.myfossil.org/video-tutorials/#Belgrade It has been raining alot in the area recently so I plan on having a great trip. We will also be attending the Yearly Fossil Festival in Aurora.
  5. 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 impressive number of specimens and is very important scientifically as it provides the best view of Florida fauna from the late Hemphillian (Hh4) North American Land Mammal Age (NALMA) from approximately 5.5-5.0 mya. The other significant locality for this age is the Palmetto Fauna a couple hundred miles south of the Montbrook site. More info here for those interested in the stratigraphy: https://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/florida-vertebrate-fossils/land-mammal-ages/hemphillian/ https://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/florida-vertebrate-fossils/sites/palmetto-fauna/ Here is a link to my Montbrook posting from 2016 showing the couple of times I managed to get out there--the last time with TFF members Daniel @calhounensis and John-Michael @Brown Bear: http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/63056-volunteer-dig-with-the-flmnh/ Now, enough of the links and time for a few pictures! The Montbrook site has changed quite a bit over the last year since I've been able to get out there. We had plans to return to Montbrook last October but Hurricane Matthew was an uninvited guest to Florida that week and the dig site was tarped down and the dig cancelled. Thankfully, the hurricane left my house untouched (didn't really even get rain or wind of note) and didn't mess-up the Montbrook site but we did miss an opportunity for one last trip to Montbrook in 2016. When we returned in February 2017 it took some time to get my bearings. The deeper pit to the east where several gomphothere skulls, tusks and long bones had been removed did not weather the rainy season well. This section has been backfilled with about 5 feet of sand and clay from the higher levels during the summer rain storms. For now they will concentrate digging on the main pit to the west and hope to get back to the lower "elephant" layer some time in the future--though the prep work to remove the overburden and get back to the original level will be significant. So much material has been moved from the upper western dig area that it was hard to picture exactly where we had dug nearly a year ago. I'm still not quite sure where we were in 2016 as the site has evolved greatly since our last visit. On Thursday and Friday there were mostly just a few volunteers who could make it to the site on weekdays--mainly retired folks or those with flexible schedules like us who could volunteer during the week. On Saturday there were a lot more volunteers and the dig site became a bit more crowded so you had to be aware of others digging sometimes in the grid square adjacent to yours. Here are some overall site photos I took on Saturday and you can see the line-up of cars that brought a full capacity of volunteers.
  6. 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 October 1 and run through December 18 (and after a holiday break will run through May 2017). This site is on private property and the museum is eager to pull as much fossil material from this important site as possible as soon as possible as they don't have the luxury of owning the site like they do with the Thomas Farm site. So far the owner of this new site has been very gracious and accommodating in letting FLMNH retrieve many important fossils from the site and seem to be willing to let the dig continue (but you never know how things could change). As this is a volunteer dig for the museum, all fossils get bagged (or jacketed) and go back into the museum's collection. You will be listed as the collector on record for all of the specimens that are accessioned into the museum's permanent collection. A great way to contribute to the knowledge of the Florida fossil record from the late Hemphillian (~5.5-5.0 mya) and learn a lot while doing so. Check out the links below for a more detailed description of the site and a the schedule and application form to submit (if you haven't volunteered with FLMNH before). If you want to dig on an important fossil-rich site in northern Florida don't let this opportunity pass you by. Plenty of dates over the next 8 months so pick a date if you are local or plan a trip if you are coming in from out of state. Trust me--it'll be an experience you'll long remember. http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/florida-vertebrate-fossils/sites/mont/ http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/vertpaleo/volunteering/field/ Cheers. -Ken (Photo shamelessly stolen from the FLMNH page on Montbrook--don't think they'll mind.)
  7. 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 (one of my numerous avocational interests). When the opportunity came around this year I jumped on it. Because of the new Montbrook site that the FLMNH is working this year, they are spending a limited time (5 days) at Thomas Farm this year--so not wanting to miss any of the fun, I signed up for the entire 5 day dig. The new Montbrook site dig will continue through mid-May and I encourage any who have the opportunity to give it a try. I'll probably try to get back there once more before the end of the season. Here is my report from a month ago: http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/63056-volunteer-dig-with-the-flmnh/ So anyway, back to Thomas Farm. The section I was digging back in 2014 (which they continued in 2015) was now dug down deep enough that they wanted to balance out the area by going back to a section that they haven't dug for several years. When I was there last it had an aluminum frame car port with a canvas top covering a cache of sandbags and some other stored gear. They moved all of those sandbags up out of the digging area to ground level near the outbuilding on site. The plan is to dig this area down to match the level of the adjacent section which is now quite a bit lower. They like to try to keep things relatively level as it promotes good water run-off during the rainy season (though Florida seems to have nothing but a rainy season this year). For anybody who has been to the Thomas Farm site in the recent past, here is what the site looks like now:
  8. 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 just in case this excitement is infectious: http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/60662-volunteer-opportunities-with-the-flmnh/ My wife Tammy and I had planned on going in mid-March but a scheduling conflict for the weekend we'd chosen made us move it up a few weeks. They did most Saturdays but not every Sunday and we wanted to make best use of the weekend so we chose the 4-day block of time from March 3-6. We drove up from South Florida the night before and booked into our hotel in Ocala. Following the well-written directions from Dr. Richard Hulbert, we found the quarry and joined the volunteer team precisely at the appointed time of 10:00am (they work from 10:00am-4:30pm). We were introduced to the layout of the site and picked up our tools: flat-blade screwdriver, small trowel, pill jar for small finds, small plastic bags for finds that come out in pieces (to facilitate reassembly), and a larger bag to contain all of our finds. We decided to work together on a single square meter of the plot and so Dr. Hulbert found us a grid square where we had room to work from both sides. It was a square that was partially leveled and our job was to complete the leveling and recover whatever fossils lay within. Some of the other squares had interesting finds visible in them. One had a plaster-jacketed partial alligator skeleton (with skull) and another that was being worked on had Gomphothere (shovel-tusker elephant relative) bones including several associated ribs. The area we were digging in had been turning up lots of snapping turtle remains and as we progressed in our grid square we found more. Here's a look at the work site:
  9. 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 the short drive. On Monday we planned a trip to the Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH) to briefly meet with Alex Kittle and Dr. Richard Hulbert for a quick tour of the invertebrate and vertebrate collections (respectively) at the museum. For those of you who think I forced my wife into doing something this geeky on our anniversary--she chose this among several options (and we did make it back home in time for a romantic dinner out at one of our favorite restaurants--complete with cheesecake ). We found parking in one of the larger lots on campus (parking is a nightmare at the University of Florida and we had no desire to be ticketed or towed). The weather was gorgeous outside and the short walk over to Dickinson Hall was pleasant in the slightly chilly morning temps (a tad bit cooler than South Florida). After signing-in and receiving our visitor's badges at the reception desk, we were met by Alex. We got another chance to talk with Alex on the following weekend when we made a second road trip north for the field-trip/meeting of the Florida Paleontological Society (FPS) for which Alex is the Membership Secretary. Alex escorted us down to the working area of the museum. Dickinson Hall has named after Joshua "J.C." Dickenson, Jr. a former director of the museum in the 1960s and under his management the museum's collections, research and education grew impressively. The Seagle Building in which the museum was located quickly became too cramped and Dickinson spearheaded a drive for a new building. In 1970 Dickinson Hall was completed and the collections were moved to the new building with the top floor housing educational programs and public exhibits. Continued growth over the years lead to the need for yet another expansion. This time a new facility, a couple miles west of Dickinson Hall, called Powell Hall was built and the public exhibits moved to the new facility which opened to the public in 1998. I was previously unaware of the history of growth of the FLMNH and thought the research collection was held someplace behind the scenes at Powell Hall. I quickly came up to speed as we walked down to the lower level of Dickinson where the scientists do their work and the research collections are stored. As Alex brought us into the invertebrate portion of the museum's collection we were first shown into an office area where numerous boxes of a variety of invert specimens were being reorganized and records checked and updated. It was a splendid sight to see boxes of fossils of all types covering just about every horizontal surface. It kind of reminded me of the tables of fossils you might see at a rock and fossil show except that each box had accession numbers instead of prices. Just behind one of the tables were an aggregation of suitcases. These held some of the specimens from a collecting trip to Panama which had just returned. You may have heard about the recent project to enlarge the Panama Canal to allow larger container ships to traverse the isthmus. The new excavations have been of interest to the museum as it cuts through some fossil bearing layers. As I've dragged 80 pound roll-on suitcases full of Green River fish plates through airport security so I know how much fun these must have been to get home. I asked Alex if he could provide a clue as to the identity of the silicified fossil corals I had collected with TFF member John (Sacha) and Jim (coralhead) last year on the Withlacoochee River in southern Georgia. Alex took us back to his desk and looked through a bookshelf till he found a pamphlet from 1973 from the Bureau of Geology entitled "New and Little-known Corals from the Tampa Formation of Florida". There we found photos of the coral I had described to him. I mentioned that, from what little polyp structure remained on the pieces I collected, it appeared to me to be similar to extant corals I'm familiar with in the genus Siderastrea (specifically S. siderea). I was moderately pleased with myself when Alex found the plates he was looking for which he knew to be found in the Withlacoochee--Siderastrea silecensis (a perfect name for my silicified coral). A link provided here for those interested: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00000252/00001 While I waited for Alex to locate this pamphlet I was intrigued by a collection of fossilized cowries (Cypraeidae) that he was trying to key-out using the latest diagnostic texts. There are relatively few features on these smooth shells and so it is quite the challenge. -Ken
×