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Found 390 results

  1. Sunday was our 100th trip with our canoe to hunt the Peace River. I only know this because we are required to report all vertebrae finds to the state at least once a year to get your permit renewed. I keep a running log of all my trips so it will be an easy task to total up when the time comes for renewing. I just thought it seemed like a milestone for us to go 100 trips with no issues on the road. We travel at least 110 miles to the nearest river access, so that is 220 round trip. X100 is 22,000 miles traveled! At 70MPH that is about 2 hours X2 at a rate of 6 bugs/minute = 144,000 bugs to wash off the truck. (we travel at night both ways). Still worth it! MH
  2. *Looking for some advice from paleologists and/or geologists* I am thinking about going back to school. I dropped out of college 10 years ago because I was never quite sure what I wanted to do. I have taken a lot of course hours, but I do not have a degree since I basically took anything that interested me. Now that I am 30 and a bit more stable, I would love to go back. I am extremely interested in paleontology, but I know that it requires a lot of school, and it isn't easy. From the small amount of research I did, it seems like most paleontologists do their undergraduate degree in either biology/geology. I would love to hear advice from anyone who has either done or looked into doing this. I live in Florida, so I am thinking UF might be the best choice, but I am also wanting to look into doing as many online courses as possible. Thanks in advance!
  3. I enjoy sorting through micro-matrix. Between the times that I'm able to spare a Saturday to drive 3 hours to the Peace River to sift for larger fossils, I like to have some micro-matrix on hand so I can easily scratch the itch when I feel the need to hunt for fossils--even if it is only from the comfort of my office desk. I'm currently working on a project involving micro-matrix (which I'll write-up on TFF once it is complete). This project requires a large number of specimens and so I've collected about five 5-gallon buckets of micro-matrix which now reside in the corner of my home office. Whenever I need a break from working on the computer I can easily grab a cupful of micro-matrix, my omni-useful dental probe, and my well-worn iris decorated paper plate and take a short plunge into the world of tiny fossils. I've recently taken steps to optimize my productivity while sorting micro-matrix so I thought I'd post them here in case any micro-fossil hunters find any utility in my method. Here is my usual setup for sorting micro-matrix--I used to pour out a large amount of micro-matrix onto my plate at one time but I now sprinkle a narrow, nearly complete, ring of micro-matrix around the edge of my paper plate. I use two different colored cups to keep track of which cup I'm pulling from and which cup I'm discarding from. I used to use two blue plastic Solo cups but it's no fun when you get them mixed up and start sorting your discards instead of fresh micro-matrix. Color coding has solved that issue permanently. I purchased a nice large magnifying lens ringed in 100 LED lights which provide nice even lighting in the field of view. The model I purchased is usually made for those doing detailed crafts like needlepoint or those whose vision is not what it was when they were younger so they can minimize eye strain while reading or doing crossword puzzles. As this model is specifically meant to be used while seated, it comes with a heavy weighted base and an adjustable arm so I can move the lens around and adjust the height over my plate for optimal focus. I used to scan micro-matrix using my photographer's loupe which had became rather outdated and useless once I went digital and stopped processing chemically developed slide film. The problem with this is that holding it in front of one eye with the other eye closed for extended periods caused only one eye to focus abnormally close and after a session of micro-fossil hunting my vision would end up blurred for hours afterward--not ideal in any way. The large lighted lens was not inexpensive but being able to see my micro-matrix clearly with both eyes providing some stereoscopic depth and no residual eye strain made the purchase well worth the cost. Though the camera could not quite figure out where and how to focus while viewing through my magnifier, you'll get some idea of how I see my micro-matrix under well-lit magnification. I've sorted many gallons of micro-matrix using just this method with great success. I'm an engineer by trade (computer programming to be specific). I'm always on the look out for ways to optimize my process allowing me to more efficiently search through my micro-matrix to find the tiny prizes hiding within. One of the things that limits my efficiency while sorting is the size range of the items in my micro-matrix. When I collect micro-matrix in the field I use a pair of stacked sifting screens. The top screen has 1/4" mesh and screens out any pieces larger than this approximate dimension. The sifter under that has a piece of metal window screen placed inside it. The mesh spacing on this screen is approximately 1/20". The separate piece of screen material allows me to lift this out of the bottom sifter and flush some of the fine sand through this tighter mesh before dumping it into my collecting bucket. So my collected micro-matrix consists of pieces roughly between 1/4" and 1/20". The mixture of different sized pieces can be seen in the last photo above where larger chunks of black phosphatic pebbles and shell hash mingle with smaller pieces of rock and sand. While sorting through this micro-matrix my search image has to encompass larger shark teeth and ray tooth plates all the way down to tiny drum fish "button" teeth, Dasyatis stingray teeth, fish incisors, and tiny baby shark teeth. I'm pretty good at keeping all of these search images in mind while working through the micro-matrix but consider the scenario of being out on a South African safari and trying to keep an eye out for a heard of African Elephants, a clan of Meerkats, as well as looking out for Dung Beetles rolling by. You might be able to be on the alert for any of these African photo-ops but it would be hard not to know if you'd overlooked something somewhere. I remembered visiting the Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH) up in Gainesville a little over a year ago and getting a spectacular tour of the work area where specimens were being prepped and micro-matrix from the Thomas Farm dig site was currently being processed. Dr. Hulbert explained to me and my wife how the bagged micro-matrix from the field was washed through a stacked set of sifting screens with different mesh sizes before being placed in a drying rack where continuous air flow sped up the drying process. I also recently learned that each project (Thomas Farm, Montbrook, etc.) have their own sets of screens to avoid any cross contamination that might make for interesting mix-ups of fossils.
  4. I went out to my favorite stretch of the Peace river last week and spent a good 6 hours digging a giant hole and stuffing my pockets with goodies. The weather was in the low 80's and the river was low, slow and clear. I found a few Megs, a bison tooth, a couple tapir teeth, a piece of antler with chunk of skull still attached and a bunch of other random awesome stuff. The best piece of the day was this chunk of tusk I resurrected from under 4' of gravel. It stuck out like a sore thumb and looked almost bright orange while wet. When I looked closer I can see what looks like a natural taper on one end that may be the business end of the tusk. I remember recently looking at a much better piece shellseeker dug up and the slant looked similar. Either way, very happy to have found it . Get out there while you can!
  5. I noticed that fossil dugong rib bones from Florida often have boring worm holes in them, though these are not predators per se, and have heard that shark marks can be found. Any other kinds of marks I should look out for? How common is it to find shark bite marks on the ribs?
  6. Both of these fossils come from Peace river in Florida. Judging from the edge and size I'm wondering if the top one is from the scapula of a mammoth/mastodon? Either that or something from a whale. Any ideas? The bottom is an armadillo scute that I once mistook for scrap bone and left in the scrap box until being rediscovered. Any way to tell if it's Holmesia septentrionalisis or Holmesina floridanus? Thanks
  7. Hi Folks, I went through one of my boxes of small oddballs today and pulled out some that I'd like to ID. I snapped some photos of them and tried to bring out the small details. They are numbered one through thirty one. I have a general idea of what some of them are, but I'd like to get a more specific species ID on them if possible. These were all found in the Peace River, Florida, Bone Valley, Hawthorn group. #'s 11 through 16 are small vertebrae or parts of vertebrae #9 is some kind of spine cookie #1 has a very fine pattern on it. I have a couple of these. #3 and #4 are partial teeth. #8 is weird - the reverse side (not shown) looks like a fossil hash with lots of small bits cemented to it. The top-side shown has a black and textured area. The side edge has a pattern of holes in it. The black area might be the embedded fossil. #5 has a hole in the middle and might be some kind of scute. #6 and #7 appear to be scales of some sort. #'s 10, 18, 19, 20 are small bones. #21 - I used to know what this one is, but I forgot. It looks like an angel with spread wings. #17 is just weird. I have found several of these that are similar, but this one is the most detailed. #27 appears to be a shark tooth that is completed encrusted in something. #'s 23 through 26 appear to be claws and have a keratin-like feel to them. #23 is concave and appears to be the outer sheath of something (tooth, claw?) #22 - bone fragment? #29 and #30 appear to be some kind of teeth, or ? #31 looks like a little brain - it might just be a weird rock. Any help is appreciated.
  8. Found in Florida river.
  9. We started the day with trailer troubles, the brake lights had to be replaced, but my dad could do it so we got to the river at 1:20. We put in my gheenoe at Gardner and since my brother with no interest in fossils was with us we had to go there for the deeper water. 4 minutes of boating later the motor overheated so we paddled a little to the nearest promising area. We saw a nice area and dug for 30 minutes and found tons of shark teeth. Then my dad went a little was away while eating to scout fish, I walked while eating later and after 30 seconds of walking I pulled up a nice turtle shell fragment on top of the sand. With that we quit digging and my brother walked with us then went back to fish. My dad and I walked a little and found a old jar ,that sadly broke later, but we kept going and right in top my dad saw 2 old marbles. We continued walking in hopes of more. After a few hours of hunting we ended with a chunk of mammoth tooth 59 bone fragments, a big bone section and some other odds and ends all in my two pockets by the way. On the way back with me struggling to keep my shorts up we arrived at their spot we found the marbles and 3 more had reappeared. Thanks for reading
  10. Recently found this and would like to identify
  11. Hemipristis serra 01

    From the album Uploads_06_16

    Hemipristis serra North-Central Florida Hawthorne formation Miocene
  12. Hemipristis serra 02

    From the album Uploads_06_16

    Hemipristis serra North-Central Florida Hawthorne formation Miocene
  13. Found this yesterday at the peace river while sifting for sharks teeth. The bands are opaque and are actually lighter in color than the rest of the piece. 1 1/4 inches long 3/4 inch wide at widest point. Any information appreciated. 4 photos.
  14. Went out hunting on a prospecting trip, so my expectations were low. In balance, one of my hunting friends has been hunting the Peace River for 50 years and is one of the best at finding new productive locations. The best spot was also the last spot selected. I did not find many fossils, but the few I did find had excellent quality. First was a horse tooth (M3) and about 2 hours later, my last find seemed to match. Also a very nice Giant Armadillo Vert. Here is my ID request: This would seem to be an Epiphysis. but it is different (thickness, pattern) than the ones associated with whale that I have previously found.. All Suggestions appreciated.. Shellseeker
  15. Found this on in the Peace River, Florida. Any ideas? I'm leaning towards some type of vertebra process piece? The ruler is in inches Thanks!
  16. So here are all of our finds from yesterday, I'm still cleaning and sorting them but If there is something you recognize let me know.. even if it's just one thing I should toss
  17. Does anyone know what this is? We found it at a abandoned construction site.. it had some sharks teeth inside.. its 7in x 3 in at its widest point. Thanks ! I'm almost thinking it looks like a huge phosphate module? I really have no clue.
  18. So my shark teeth collection has grown quite a bit this month. All found in Sarasota-Venice, a lot were found when I was a child, so about 25 years ago. My mom had saved them and just gave them to me. Some were found in the past couple of months.. this is just a few of them I thought might be identifiable. I plan on making some jewelry and I would love to know what they are for sure.. I need to get a good book. I'm sorry I forgot to put something next to them for scaling, it was hard to get a couple of pictures because my son kept pulling them down and putting them on his teeth LolThanks..
  19. Hi. I am new to fossil hunting and barely even have a beginner's knowledge at this point. I found this when I was sifting in some gravel on the shore of the Peace River in Arcadia, FL. I have been looking online for two days trying to figure it out but to no avail. I can't even find anything similar. I believe it is a claw attached to the limb of whatever creature this came from. My only other thought is tooth attached to a very large root....like I said I don't have enough knowledge at this point to be able to properly deduce, but the part at the end definitely looks to be a claw or tooth in my extremely limited opinion. I imagine, since I couldn't find anything similar in all my searches of Peace River teeth and claws, that it is probably just a modern find. I figured it was worth a shot. It's definitely interesting looking to a beginner like myself. :-) Thank you in advance for your help!
  20. Hello Everyone! So my mom and I are going to be flying to Florida in the beginning of March to do a shark tooth hunting trip in the Peace River. (Will also be a vacation) Can anyone please give some tips on the best places to stay, parts of the river to hunt, best guided tours, anything will help!! We will be flying into Sarasota Airport.. Also, if anyone knows where you are able to rent shovels and shifters for a few days, since we will be flying I can't bring mine. Thanks in advance! Holly
  21. Hi guys. I went to Gainesville Saturday to check out the local creeks. We spent most of the day at Alfred A Ring park and then briefly explored a few of the less accessible creeks (Possum, Rattlesnake). Besides easily identifiable small shark teeth and ray mouth plates, etc, I found a large chunk of bone in Possum Creek and this a strange lumpy item in Hogtown Creek. I have no idea what the lumpy item is or if it's even a fossil. It's much rougher in texture than any fossil I've ever found, which makes me think it's not actually a fossil, but I was hoping you guys could help me ID it regardless. Thanks! Steph
  22. Hi guys! It's been a while since I've posted here but I wanted to share some of the things we found yesterday out at the beach I know that I have a lot of teeth & stingray parts, but I'm not sure about some of these other bones.. anyone able to make some IDs here? The non-fossil bones were discovered by my husband and he said he thinks they are from a dolphin. I'm interested in finding out info for the photo with 9 items, the brown thing in the center is about one inch for scale. Thanks!
  23. I never knew that Florida had such a plethora of fossil hunting opportunities. I have visited Venice Beach twice and found fossil shark teeth, fossil plant (most likely Crinoidea) impressions in rock, and fossil shells. I have wanted to visit the Peace River formation for a while now, and I know that there are other spots in Florida that seem to hold some promise. So I'm curious, since I'm basically just starting out hunting for fossils myself rather than buying them, as to what some people who also fossil hunt in Florida have found, and where you found it?
  24. Does anyone know what these are?