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Found 72 results

  1. From Myrtle, to Charleston and then from Amelia around to Venice. It was truly a blessed summer strolling the beaches with family, and sometimes by myself. Of the hundreds found, these are my favorites.
  2. 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 identifying a dentary (lower jaw) piece of the very common slider turtle (Trachemys inflata) and while pieces of the shell (carapace and plastron) are ubiquitous at this site cranial bones are much more rare. Armed with a new search image for this bone I was able to keep my eyes peeled and recognize it not mistaking it for a broken fish skull bone this time. The first bag provided me with first the left dentary and then the matching right dentary split into two pieces along the symphysis (mid-line). I wasn't going to allow these to slip through my fingers again. Turtles have no teeth so they have rather edentate (toothless) dentaries. They just have a rather sharp ridge along the top edge instead of individual teeth. When I got to the second bag I spotted an even nicer specimen complete across the symphysis with both halves connected. That bag also produced a really nice alligator claw core (ungual). Having finished sorting the last of the chunky matrix bags from 2017 I moved on to picking through some bone bags from March of 2019. This bag had several smaller bags with associated fragments that were bagged separately in the field by the collector to keep them from getting disassociated. The first small bag had the end of a gator bone with the articulating end broken off as it was poorly mineralized. It didn't take too long to orient the end piece and smaller chip to restore this to as good as it will get. Isolated slider turtle bones (Trachemys inflata) have to be virtually complete to make the collection as the Montbook site (and now the FLMNH collection) are chocked full of them. Gator bones are not as common and so even an identifiable gator bone with one reasonably complete articulating surface are still of interest for the collection. There is a layer at the Montbrook site that we call the "Turtle Death Layer" which is virtually paved with Trachemys shells. If we ever discover a similar "Alligator Graveyard Layer" with an embarrassing abundance of gator bones we may grow more choosy but for now we take what we can get. The next little bag of associated fragments turned out to be fragments of the Xiphiplastron and articulating Hypoplastron from the left side of the bottom part of the shell (plastron) of the slider turtle (Trachemys inflata). While I started with quite the bag of puzzle pieces, the individual fragments started lining up. Armed with a very VERY slowly growing knowledge of this part of the turtle's anatomy (having seen a few of these already) I'm beginning to recognize where the various bits should be going. Before long all of the two fragmented bones had been Frankensteined together as best as could be from the pieces. I ended up with virtually the complete left Xiphiplastron and Hypoplastron and the few remaining bits that were bagged in the field turned out not to be from these bones and were mixed in with the rest of the bones from this batch to see if they might connect to some other bone. This last bag of bones I was sorting through this evening turned up an odd bone that I couldn't place (not that my knowledge of fossil bones even scratches the surface of what there is to know). It had some characteristics of a vertebra but it was not symmetrical in any way and it seemed to be a complete (unbroken) bone so it had me confused. At this point it was only Richard Hulbert (the vertebrate paleontology collections manager) and me left at the warehouse--the few other students had gone home around 5pm and I was still trying to finish up this bag so I could put things away and go home for dinner as well. I showed the bone to Richard and told him I had failed to make the bone a vert since clearly it was not and asked him what the heck it was as I'd not seen anything like it before. (There are still so many many bones I'm unfamiliar with so this is not at all surprising.) He looked at it and his eyes quickly widened as he pronounced that it was a carnivore bone. Carnivores are relatively rare in most ecosystems and are likewise rare in the specimens found at fossil sites--other than places like the ancient tar pit site called La Brea ("tar" in Spanish) in downtown Los Angeles which is noteworthy for the many Saber-toothed Cats (Smilodon californicus) found there. And saber-tooth cats proved to be the key to this strange bone. A few years back at the Montbrook site an ancestor was discovered to the large and and fierce predatory cat with incisors that were indeed saber (or at least dagger) shaped. This cat was a formidable predator but its incisors had not yet evolved into the very distinctive dentition of its descendant. The Small Saber-toothed Cat (Rhizosmilodon fiteae) is known from this site from the initial partial skull that was found in 2017 and several additional bones that have turned up over the years including a femur and several wrist and finger bones. https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/science/news-saber-tooth-cat-skull-find-in-montbrook/ Richard and I located the cabinet and the particular drawer containing the collection of bones for this species and the preservation coloration of this mystery bone was clearly very similar to the other bones already cataloged. Additionally, we checked the collection label and the grid coordinates indicated it was found right at the epicenter of where the other bones were recovered so it was another clue that our hunch was looking promising. We compared it to the existing Small Saber-tooth Cat wrist bones but weren't finding a match. We went back to another cabinet in the back of the warehouse where the comparative material is stored and pulled out a drawer with a disarticulated modern skeleton of a Florida Bobcat (Lynx rufus). We looked through the box that contained the complete set of wrist bones for this cat species and none of them looked a match for the mystery bone. After consulting some osteology books with drawings of cat wrist bones we still weren't finding a match and so Richard figured he'd have to take the specimen back to his office at Dickinson Hall on campus and consult additional books and collections to get an ID on this bone though he was sure it was felid. We went back to look at the drawer where the Montbrook saber-tooth was stored and found a small bone from a second smaller species of cat that was found at the site and it was a match for the shape of our mystery bone--not a wrist bone but an ankle bone known as the ectocuneiform. We then went back to the drawer with the modern bobcat and looked through the box with the foot bones in it and found the matching (but much smaller) bone from this species and the articulating third metatarsal (toe bone) for comparison. This confirmed that we had the first recorded ectocuneiform for the saber-tooth from the Montbrook site. It is difficult (likely impossible) to find a good diagram of saber-tooth cat foot bones so here is a much more readily available human foot bone with the cuneiform bones labeled. The Medial cuneiform bone (aka entocuneiform or "inner" cuneiform) is attached to the first (big) toe bones counting from the mid-line of the body. The Intermediate cuneiform bone (aka mesocuneiform or "middle" cuneiform) is next connected to the second toe bones. The Lateral cuneiform bone (aka ectocuneiform or "outer" cuneiform) connects to the third (middle) toe bones. Oddly, there are no additional cuneiform bones and the last two sets of toe bones articulate with a bone called the Cuboid is not surprisingly the most cube-shaped of the foot bones. Always fun to learn something new each day at the warehouse. This bone had been dug up by another volunteer and had been sitting in a bone bag for over 3 years till that bag's contents were recently retrieved from storage, rinsed, dried, and re-bagged awaiting another volunteer to pick through the bag to see if any interesting specimens were hiding within that needed to be cataloged. In this particular case that volunteer was me and the specimen was an exciting one and an important one for the collection. It won't be cataloged with my name associated with it in any way but I'm happy to have been fortunate enough to have played a minor role in seeing it make its way safely into the proper drawer with the other associated bones from this particular Small Saber-toothed Cat. Cheers. -Ken
  3. Hi all! I'm making a sudden and quick trip to Gainesville FL and will have about a day to do some fossil hunting. I have heard about the hogtown and possum creeks and will likely visit those no matter what. But I was wondering if anyone had any advice for other places to check out. I can travel a little bit out of town but won't have access to a kayak so would need to get somewhere on foot. Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks and I'll post my finds after the trip!
  4. Hunting in Gainesville Creeks now Illegal

    Just recieved some bad news today from Dr. Hulbert of the University of Florida. All urban creeks inside of Gainesville are now completely off limits to fossil hunting and collecting of any kind due to people damaging the creeks. This includes inside of the parks such as Alfred A Ring and Loblolly parks. First time offenders will be cited with a $125 fine, and repeat offenders will be charged up to $15,000. This is a perfect example of people not following the rules ruining it for the rest of us. This was the link he included in his email to me. https://alachuacounty.us/news/article/pages/Illegal-Digging-Harms-Gainesvilles-Urban-Creeks.aspx Looks like all of us newbies will have to go find other creeks and do more research to find some decent locations. Best of luck to you all.
  5. Found near Hogtown Creek in Gainesville
  6. Greetings fellow fossil enthusiasts! I don't know what this thing is. I've shown it to several other fossil guys in Houston and they don't know what it is either. I think it's from a fish of some sort, other than that I have no idea. I found it in Hogtown Creek in Gainesville so it's probably Late Miocene-Pliocene. Scale bar is in Millimeters. Any help is greatly appreciated.
  7. Tooth id

    Found this tooth fragment in Possum creek in Gainesville Florida. You can see serrations on both sides which almost makes me think Meg frag, but it seems way too narrow to possibly be. Though the thickness also makes me think Meg. Any ideas? Btw, sorry for terrible quality photos. Took em with my ipod.
  8. Creeks around Gainesville

    Hey guys. I’ve done a good bit of hunting in Gainesville and wanted to know if there were any creeks around/outside Gainesville you would suggest for fossil hunting. Seems like all the creeks in Gville are over hunted.
  9. This is my first trip report in quite a while. I probably need to go back and do some others to catch-up on some other neat finds. My son and I went to Gainesville yesterday with Wild Kyle. We had a great time, and productive day. I found a nice dolphin vertebra in someone’s spoil pile and my son actually dropped a posterior meg in the spoil for the next person. (I realized it was missing when we were taking a wrap up photo, and I went back and found it.) I was really excited to find the ray plate. The condition was not great, but i love finding these things fused. Kyle pointed out a croc scute in my screen that I definitely would have missed and he found part of a dugong skull cap. The nicest meg had a small crack, which broke on the way home, so I had to do a repair.
  10. I just looked at a post that I did almost 1 year ago about Hogtown Creek in Gainesville and this post is almost exactly the same. It was a quick visit to Alfred Ring Park, about 45 minutes, and again I only found some miscellaneous bone pieces, Ray and shark teeth. The temp was hot, 86 degrees, and the water was cool- it made for a great time. On the way out, I ran into what I believe is an endangered 4 1/2 foot Florida Pine Snake, who was in exceptional shape. After a brief discussion with him, he went on his way and so did I. Here are some pics of the area, the snake and my finds.
  11. Gainesville finds

    Nice variety of finds from my Gainesville trip to Hogtown creek over the weekend.
  12. Canine tooth

    Any ideas on what type of tooth this is? Found it in Hogtown creek in Gainesville, FL. Looks like some type of canine tooth.
  13. Need help with this one...

    We took the kids hunting in one of the creeks around Gainesville- found typical sharks teeth, ray barbs, etc then found this- I have no clue what it is- Any ideas?
  14. Strange looking vert

    Found this odd vert today in a gainesville creek. Referenced my books, looked online, and can’t find anything that looks like this! Any help would be great! Thanks
  15. back to the creeks

    It's been a few months since we've gone to the creeks in Gainesville. Thanks to Pat C. who asked if we would like to join him, we went out yesterday to a new spot. With low humidity, perfect temperature and cool water , we worked our way to Pat's secret spot. After a short hike, we ended up in an area of the creek that had plenty of gravel to work through. After a few hours of sifting, everyone was happy with their finds. Hemi's seemed to be the tooth of the day, with plenty to be found. Mrs. beachbum had the best finds of the day with a pair of mako teeth in back to back screens, with the largest being 2 1/4". Along with the hemi's and mako's we found lemon, tiger and bull shark teeth along with ray barbs , verts (any ideas on the large vert?) and a couple of partial croc teeth. All in all it was a fun day hunting .
  16. Turtle or glyph scute frag?

    Cant really tell ? I'm used to turtle I always find turtle fragments but this looks diffrent .
  17. What do you guys think? It's definitely fossilized material.
  18. @Cris and myself went out to the creek a few days in hopes of finding some fossils! It was HOT, there were bugs everywhere, and thunderstorms all around, but we still had a fun day. The fossil finds were not as plentiful as hoped for, but not every day can be insane! We still had an amazing time and ended up coming home with some cool fossils. Photo of the finds is below if you can't watch the video!
  19. Florida tooth

    found this in a Gainesville creek today. Not sure what it is from.
  20. Brown Bear is back in action

    Checked out Mudslinger Tours in Gainesville with my daughter and niece today for a few hours. Its my first hunt in a little over a year due to various challenges now behind me. Not a bad haul for a short trip with kids. Their finds are not pictured... bottom line- The Brown Bear is back in action!
  21. I'm new to the forum. Went to Gainesville twice this week and took my niece for her first time on one of them.
  22. Rattlesnake Creek

    Can anyone help with this ID?? I am thinking crocodile??
  23. Rattlesnake Creek

    Beautiful day on Rattle Snake creek today in Gainesville,FL! Took 2 of our daughters for a couple hours! I believe the bigger tooth is crocodile! But if I am not accurate, please let me know!
  24. Today I stopped at the Gainesville Museum of Natural History in Gainesville, Florida so my wife could see the Rainforest Butterfly Exhibit and walk among the butterflies. Well after doing that, I did what any good FF Member would do, I took a ton of pictures of their Fossil exhibits. It is a very nice museum and it is free, with the exception of special exhibits like the Butterflies. For your viewin pleasure, her are the pics- it will take a couple posts.
  25. What do you guys think? Don't mind the line across the top, the piece unfortunately snapped in half and was repaired.