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Found 250 results

  1. Big Bone - femur?

    Here is one more from the Peace River (Florida). It's a big bone that resembles a femur of some kind. Again, I am almost certain this is not fossilized, or not fully. Could be fairly old (early Holocene) or recent. Cow? Horse? Human?! Thanks!
  2. Big Jaw Bone with Teeth

    This large jaw bone was found in the Peace River (Florida). I don't think it's fossilized, but it doesn't exactly look very-recent either. Surely Holocene I think, although I guess it could be older? Is it horse? Cow? Something else? Any help is appreciated. Thanks! (The brass scale cube measures 1cm square)
  3. Another place to avoid - Bartow

    Well, don't waste your time with the northern Peace around Bartow. We put in a Heritage Peace River Landing and paddled upstream for two hours - searching for karst features, gravel, or any other sign of fossils. In short, nothing. Not a darn thing. No rapids. Very little exposed limestone. We only found one area of small gravel and it contained nothing big or worth taking home. Just some tiny teeth and some small bone fragments, a few turtle scutes, etc. This area was heavily mined by the phosphate industry in the 1960's and 1970's before environmental regulations were put into place. This entire area looked like a moonscape until the 1980's when reclamation took place. Having said that, the scenery was nice and it was a pleasant paddle. But I wouldn't go there again looking for fossils.
  4. Exciting Phalanx

    If this is what I think it is... it's rare and exciting. This fossil is a phalanx (a toe bone at the end of the foot) . I have mis_identified very similar bones as predator in the past, so I ask for help . @Harry Pristis For anyone new to fossil toe bones, refer to the analysis and fantastic photos in this TFF thread: http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/83952-toe-bone-possible-predator/
  5. A couple of oddities

    I always have stuff that could be IDed because I am always imagining that it is something that it is not... may be true here also: Whenever I see the multiple holes in a line , I think tooth sockets and thus Jaw. But here I am pretty sure that is not what I have. So, if not jaw, it must be turtle scute, but this is ODD for turtle.. Anyone come across something similar? That for all comments and suggestions. Jack Then a small incisor that should be horse, but might be camel or...
  6. A really busy week

    Last Friday , I drove to Tallahassee to participate in the Florida Paleontology Society Spring meeting. Some of my fossil hunting friends but NOT my wife, questioned my Sanity. But I thoroughly enjoyed hunting an Eocene quarry in South Georgia on Saturday. I even found a few shark teeth, hemipristis upper and lower, a colorful Mako and a Shrimp burrow, a Chesapecten, and a druzy oyster. It was a lot of fun but I definitely got my exercise. The shell stayed where it was attached to a 100 plus pound rock. Returned home on Sunday... The trip is about 7 hours for me. and then went to the Peace River Monday and Tuesday because my wife is traveling for the next week and I can not go hunting until she returns. But I did get a present yesterday!!!! This is my 4th complete mastodon tooth in 11 years.. A great feeling. It shows how rare finding one is, when compared to the intensive hunting that I do.. I always feel blessed, this time included. I research every key find: http://floridapaleosociety.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Fossil-Species-of-Florida-1-2002-Mammut-Americanum.pdf By size, this fossil tooth is a M1 molar, and an upper cheek tooth based on the axis alignment at right angles to the Lopfs. Like I said, it was a busy week.
  7. Donated Fossils

    I hunt with good friends. This was last Saturday. One friend knows I like mammal ear bones. So he donated this one to me. I have identified a number of Florida fossil ear bones, but not this one... yet. It seems to be broken and not horse, camel or bison, about that size. The other friend found this tooth, thought it might be deer. But I ventured that it was a camel premolar and I would be able to identify once back home. But after I compared it to this photo from the Florida Museum of Natural History, I was far less sure> Can it be either p4? Heniaucheniamacrocephala (below) PaleolamaMirifica Finally , a Sand Tiger which I found . If there are a lot of Peace River hunters who find sand tigers with double cusps on each side, raise your hand. We 3 agreed that this was very unusual. Is this really a Carcharias taurus tooth? Are there any other possibilities? Thanks for all responses. Jack
  8. Sm Carnassial

    Out yesterday, gorgeous day, good friends, mostly small shark teeth but a few keepers. That deer tine is one of my best at 2.75 inches, and the beaver molar, hard to find in this condition, is sweet!!!! But this tread is about a Carnassial or maybe it is a p4. Luckily, I hunt with a quarter inch screen. What animal family is this? It does not look like bigger canids I have. For that matter, it does not look like my felid carnassials. At first , I thought peccary molar, then tapir pre_molar, ....
  9. Saturday at Peace

    Saturday is the day I am least likely to go fossil hunting but yesterday was the exception. Another gorgeous day, sun shining, birds chirping.. I also had some interesting finds ... Some equus teeth and mammoth chunks upper left, bones upper right and a few dolphin bullas under the bones. Nothing special like tusks or large Megs. The tiny tooth lower center is a Mako: One of the mammal bones is a 1.5 inch cubonavicular, a little larger than deer (I think) may be Bos because it is not river worn.. Then a 1.25 inch small canine, I love finding canines... Found a bunch of gator teeth, including these... odd longitudinal lines, Finally this 1/2 long inch molar. There is lots of diversity and variations on the Peace. It has been collecting for millions of years. Every day is an adventure. I am so lucky to have this hobby, and this location.
  10. Peace River bone and a Vert

    Fossil hunting is almost perfect now that the Peace River is open, and I am trying to squeeze as many days and locations as possible. Travel north today but will be back at it early next week. Quantity was light yesterday but did get some nice finds (Glyptodon osteoderm, blueish Meg) and some interesting bones. Maybe someone will recognize this one.. The upper left bone is odd. 1st is that it is hollow which implies bird but it is large to be bird. I wonder what @Auspex thinks. 2nd is that it is tapering from what appears to be a joint and finally I do not recognize it as a common bone from the river. More Photos: And then a modern (?) vert : What type of reptile, fish, mammal has a vert that looks like this... As always, I appreciate all comments, suggestions, identifications.... Jack
  11. Zolfo Springs, Sunday March 31st

    Finally made it out to the Peace again on Sunday. Josh and I went upstream from the boat ramp at Pioneer Park. It wasn't a terribly productive day for either of us. That stretch has been hunted to death and it's slim pickings. There were spoil piles and holes everywhere. It also looked like every fossil hunter in Florida was there. We arrived early around 8:15am and there was already another hunter at the ramp. As the day went on, we saw several other kayaks and canoes, and almost every one of them had a shovel and sifter in evidence. I made brief small talk in passing with a few of them, and I kept wondering if I was talking to anyone from the Fossil Forum. I was pretty focused on what I was doing, so I didn't think to ask anyone. Was anyone from the forum there on this past sunday? Here are a few pics from sunday :
  12. Out hunting with Sacha

    It has been a while since John and I have hunted together. We did as much talking as digging, and there was this feeling that we had not found very much, but when I sorted it out, I had a large number of decent sized shark teeth over an inch, mostly hemis & tigers, even a (non_giant ) Thresher. Some of the small stuff turned out excellent and even an unknown at the end. Fossil # 1 Fossil #2 Fossil #3 An earbone, but whose? Equus is at least twice as large as this one. Pause, Have to post before I add more in a reply
  13. Sm Shark tooth and Sm Unknown

    The long off season nightmare is over. The Peace River is open for fossil hunting !!!! I even saw Fred Mazza guiding a group of 11 tourists. I went out today.. what a gorgeous day!! Sunshine, a cool breeze and water temps. Dug mostly in pea to golfball size gravel and among some very nice finds and a bunch of small shark teeth, found these 2. A Shark tooth..size is .75 inch. but, but, but where is the bourlette? and then this one. I have absolutely no idea. Size is one-half inch.
  14. This winter has been very wet and opportunities to hunt the rivers have been limited. All of them have been running high ever since that major rain even back in December of 2018. Yesterday the USGS Zolfo gauge had dropped down to 6.1 feet, which is the lowest it's been in a long time. So, off we went to try our luck. We put in at Payne's Creek State Park and paddled upstream past the bridge and outside the park boundaries. We then paddled up to the area around the so-called "waterfall". The river was a bit higher and faster than we had anticipated, and some huffing was required to get through the shallow runs where the current really picks up. The last time I had seen this stretch of river was back in November of last year before two separate flood-stage events followed afterwards. There were some trees down, but nothing that required portaging.... until we reached the first major outcrop. It was not fully exposed due to the high water, so it made a single "speed bump" rapid that is split around an ad-hoc island, with a creek running off to one side. There is no way to paddled over/through this rapid against the current, so the best course of action is to paddle to the right and go up a narrow channel between the island and creek. One can easily paddle in, push up on the rock slab, and get out to drag one's kayak or canoe past this section of rapids - there is clear easy paddling on the other side for a good distance until the next set of rapids which is often referred to by locals as "the waterfall". Note, when the water is this high, the waterfall is not exposed and it's just a tricky section of the river that requires portaging. When the water is about a foot lower, it makes a nice waterfall effect, but that effect was not present yesterday. We spent a few hours having a picnic and hunting this area. There was some decent gravel trapped in the limestone depressions and that yielded small teeth and other oddballs. I did find one nice tapir tooth with root, but it must have fallen out of my bag back into the river - I was disappointed to find it missing when we got back home. Overall, the day was not a complete bust for fossils, but we didn't find any meg teeth, mammoth, or anything else sexy or interesting. We just found the usual suspects - scutes, small teeth, dugong ribs, antler bits, etc. The weather was beautiful - sunny with a nice gentle breeze and the temperature was perfect for paddling. We saw a lot of birds, but not many gators - just a couple of babies sunning themselves with mama nowhere to be seen. I'm glad we went before more rains come and make it too high and fast for casual paddling. More rain is in the forecast, so this might have been our last chance for a few weeks. (*fingers crossed that the rain gods are kind to us*) I shot a brief video of the spot. Note, if this spot is familiar to you, take note of the big jumble of fallen trees at the top of the frame when I pan through the rapids (far side) - that side of the rapids used to be clear and deeper - boats could bypass the rapids on that side. Not any longer. Two large palm trees must have fallen during the last flood and now there is a big gatory mass of trees and driftwood blocking the channel. Until another flood washes that obstruction away, larger boats won't be able to pass here (canoes and kayaks only) - as recently as November 2018, bass boats could pass through here. Video link -
  15. Weird skull. Catfish?

    Finally made it out to the Peace River yesterday - the river is still a little high at most spots, but this winter has been too rainy to be picky about the gauge height. We found some small teeth and the usual minor things - broken mammoth tooth plates, antler, scutes, dugong rib, etc. We did find one oddball thing that I am fairly certain is a catfish skull. At first glance, laying in place, it looked like a snake skull, but on closer examination it appears to be a fish. I did some Google searches, but most of the catfish skulls I saw looked a bit different than this. Gar maybe? Eel? or ?
  16. Peace River Camping?

    Hello All, I would like to take a group of families camping somewhere along the Peace River in Florida to hunt fossils. Does anyone have a suggestion for a campground, or even just a great spot for finding fossils? We don't necessarily need to camp. Thank you for any suggestions!
  17. Small Mammal tooth

    Hunting buddy asked of I could get this tooth Identified. TFF my only chance. Florida Peace River. The curved root seems rare. Maybe an incisor. I have not seen this previously but such a small fossil would easily be missed. Thank for any comments and suggested IDs. Length = 35 mm
  18. Florida's Peace River

    The Peace River of Florida (“Talakchopcohatchee” - River of Long Peas in the Creek and Seminole Indian language. Named for the wild pea-like plants that grow along the river.) The Peace River is a “blackwater” river. This means the water is a dark, coffee color that results from a high content of tannins. The riverbed cuts through peaty, organic-rich material which leeches into the water and turns it black. When this water runs shallow over rocks or pale-colored sand, it can be transparent like weak tea. This is especially true if the sun is directly overhead and illuminating the water. In places where the water is deeper, it becomes black and opaque. This darkening is enhanced wherever the river is shaded from sun. Depending on the time day, placement of the sun, degree of sky cloudiness, the depth of the river, and the composition of the riverbed, the water may have good or terrible visibility. This can vary over short stretches. You might be canoeing over sandy bottom that is only inches away from the tip of your paddle, then you go around a bend and the bottom drops away into the darkness and tall trees on the banks block out the sun. The bottom might still be inches away, or you might be paddling over a hole that is ten feet deep. The only way to find out how deep the dark stretches are is to probe the depths with your paddle and see if you can touch the bottom of the riverbed. The dark water also conceals snags and rocks. Fallen trees and rocky outcroppings are hidden in the murky waters. When the water is higher, one can paddle right over these obstructions without knowing they are there. During fossil-hunting season, the river is very low and this exposes most of the hazards, but creates new ones. Shallow runs through exposed rocks create rapids and eddies, which must be navigated carefully. Other times, the water is too shallow for paddling and one must climb out of the boat and drag it over rocks that are often slick and jagged. It is worth noting that some Florida limestone and chert nodules break with razor-sharp edges, so water shoes are a must when navigating rivers like the Peace. When the river height is low and the current is slow, it can be a leisurely paddle against the current going upstream. However, there are numerous places where the river narrows or flows over shallow outcrops, and in these places the current will increase dramatically and with little notice. In wider stretches, the current is usually more gentle, but the wind can often work against you, so one must be prepared to get some good exercise when paddling, regardless of which way the current is going. Even the trip downstream with the current requires a measure of awareness to avoid snags and navigate rapids. On some stretches you can leisurely drift and relax, and then on other stretches you need to pay attention and make correct decisions to avoid getting snagged or submerged. During fossil season (which is generally winter to early spring), the water is cold. It’s not freezing cold, but hypothermia is a real worry. I try to stay dry from my waist up. Having long legs helps in this regard. As long as my core remains dry, I can avoid hypothermia while doing prolonged wading in the cold water. My partner who dives down into the holes wears a rubber wet suit for insulation. This cold water is a boon for fossil hunters because it makes the native reptiles less active. When air and water temps drop, alligators and snakes go into a state of torpor. They are far less aggressive and less interested in humans. One must always be aware of their presence, but the danger of an unprovoked attack is extremely low during the winter. The Peace river runs approx. 105 miles as the crow flies from Bartow in the north at the source, down to Port Charlotte in south. Taking into account the twists and bends in the river, it is a 150 mile paddle from end to end. The river north of the town Zolfo Springs is considered the “Upper Peace” and below Zolfo to the south is the “Lower Peace”. Fossils can be found along the entire length of the Peace, but the most accessible deposits generally are found on the Lower Peace which cuts through the Bone Valley formation of the Hawthorn geologic group. To understand the type and composition of the fossil deposits in the area, one must consider the underlying geology. Along the Upper and Middle Peace, the riverbed is exposed limestone with accumulations of sand, clay, and gravel. Down the Lower Peace, the bottom becomes sandier with thicker sediments of clay and sand. At all points, there are limestone boulders and outcroppings that cut through the banks and riverbed. The banks on all stretches can vary between tall sandy bluffs to low rocky beaches. The banks in areas of interest to fossil hunters occur along undeveloped stretches of the river where the layers of the banks are eroding into the river. These layers alternate between Miocene, Pliocene, and Pleistocene time periods when Florida alternated from being completely underwater (Eocene, Miocene, early Pliocene) to being above water in the late Pliocene to Holocene. Because these layers are laid down in succession, it is possible to find marine Miocene animals like Megalodon shark side by side with Pleistocene megafauna like Mammoths. By carefully examining the banks and riverbed, one can determine which spots might be worth hunting for fossils. In some cases, the fossils can be seen eroding from the banks. It’s not unusual to find a bone or tusk sticking out of the bank or laying on the bank at water level. In other cases, the fossils have accumulated in holes at the bottom of the dark river below the banks. Bends in the river, tree snags, and rapids also tend to trap and accumulate fossils. The presence of large gravel can also be a sign of fossil deposits nearby or transported by flood action. Heavy mineralized fossils tend to accumulate with gravel, phosphate pebbles, and limestone rocks to build gravel beds on the river bottom. These gravel beds can be productive if one doesn’t mind shoveling and sifting – which can be tricky underwater with a current flowing over your shovel. Another fossil clue to look for is shelly layers exposed in the sandy riverbanks. There are Miocene-Pliocene layers that are fossil-rich with marine fossils from the period when Florida was completely under water. The Bone Valley formation that the Peace cuts through has some of these deposits near the surface where they are exposed by the course of the river. You can see these layers if you look closely – they are a stark white line that runs between tan sandy layers and grey clayey layers. The presence of this white shelly layer guarantees the presence of Miocene marine invertebrates, and often contains Miocene vertebrates like Megalodon. These shelly layers are the source of most Megalodon teeth found in the Peace. They erode out of the banks, fall into the river, and are transported downstream where they collect in gravel beds, holes, and rapids. Teeth that are freshly exposed from the banks tend to have lighter and prettier colors. The teeth that have been submerged in the tannin-rich waters are stained dark black over time. Generally speaking, the Lower Peace is more developed and populated than the Upper Peace. Although there are occasional homes and farms along the river, there are also long stretches that are completely undeveloped and surrounded by pristine wetland wilderness. It is these undeveloped stretches that are the most productive for fossil hunting – both because the land is less disturbed, and there is less human traffic in the area (hunters, fishermen, boaters, other fossil hunters, etc). The stretches we hunt for fossils are largely uninhabited, except for occasional fishermen or kayakers passing through. These stretches are usually too shallow for any boat larger than a canoe or kayak, so you never see large motorboats or airboats in these areas. If you go further south to Gardner on the Lower Peace, airboats and loud bassboats are increasingly present and annoying. Although these annoyances do little to deter meaningful fossil-hunting, it ruins the atmosphere and serenity for folks like myself who enjoy the silence and immersion in nature. One can generally avoid these situations by staying far away from the nearest public boat ramps. While there are public access boat ramps dotted along the length of the Peace, there are also remote stretches that are miles away from the nearest ramps – these areas have a lot less traffic, people, litter, noise, and other signs of humans. In the quiet and pristine areas, it is very easy to forget that one lives in modern times and one gets a feel for what it must have been like centuries ago before man intruded on the Peace. There are numerous small creeks that feed into the Peace and some of these creeks are good for fossil hunting. However, many of these creeks extend inland into private property where hunting is not allowed without permission from the land owner. So, one must consider and navigate these creeks with a measure of caution and awareness that is not entirely necessary if one sticks to the main river. While we have hunted some of these creeks, we have not had good luck with them and have made very few significant finds in these creeks. Creeks of interest include Charlie Creek, Payne’s Creek, Bowlegs Creek, Whidden Creek, Joshua Creek, Shell Creek, and dozens of smaller, unnamed tributaries. Flora and fauna along the Peace are plentiful. Common sights include alligators, turtles, wading birds (cranes, egrets, etc), raptors (hawks, eagles, etc), snakes, deer, wild pigs, otters, and the occasional coyote. All of these animals live in the wilderness that surrounds the river and the shy species make their presence known with tracks and calls. Alligators are a constant in all sizes from babies up to 12-foot maneaters. In colder weather, they are very lethargic and do not pose a threat. They lie on the banks soaking up the sun and have little interest in the humans passing by. Snakes are also a constant presence, with the predominate venomous species being cottonmouth (water moccasins), rattlesnakes, and the coral snake. Again, in the cold months, these snakes present little threat, but one must be aware of them when flipping over rocks and reaching into holes. The predominate vegetation in most areas are the bald cypress tree, various pines, assorted palms, scrub oaks, and palmetto bushes. Vines and wildflowers are also present and provide a pleasant injection of color into the landscape when they are blooming. One favorite of mine was a big mound of Moonflowers that would greet us in the morning as we paddled away from the boat ramp. For practical matters, it is important to note that cellular service is spotty in the more remote areas. Cell phone service is 3G at best with only one bar of reception if you are lucky. Service is more reliable closer to towns and near the parks with boat ramps, but once you go a few miles down the river into the boonies, your cell service diminishes rapidly. If you have an emergency while out on the river, don’t rely completely on your cellphone. In most cases, first responders or rangers would have a difficult time locating and reaching you. There are no roads to these areas, no place to land a helicopter, and the river is too shallow for Marine Patrol or Game Warden boats. You are literally “on your own” when exploring many of the areas on the Peace. (End of Part One)
  19. A Peace River bone

    I have not been out too much this season, but the Peace River is certainly open for hunting. I went to a location that I had hunted many times, thinking I could recheck old sites for new fossils. I am currently water depth challenged, and the river was at least a foot deeper than I had remembered for this location. The day was mostly non productive with a minimal number of small shark teeth, a single armadillo scute, and then this bone. I came very close to tossing it back in but thought that ridge/groove down the side could be a marker for one of my favorite fossils. I always am on the lookout for that groove. I also might be imagining what I wish it to be, I have done that before. Although I encourage and appreciate all comments, Let's also see what Bobby thinks... @Boesse
  20. Big Bone with Weird marking on it

    Another Bone Valley Florida find, Peace River, Polk county, Hawthorn group. This large weirdly-shaped bone has a strange (to me) marking/pattern on it. Is this a big gator bone maybe? (it's the big "crab claw" shaped bone on the upper right). Second photo shows the opposite side with my hand for scale. Thanks!
  21. Peace River, Partial Jaw with Teeth

    These pics aren't the best. I forgot to put a scale object in the photo. I hurriedly decided to shoot these because the setting sun was providing some good lighting. This piece is small, about 1.5 inches in overall length. There is an alligator scute in the background for rough approx. size comparison. I am not sure if this is fossilized, but the teeth look familiar to me. Is this a juvenile of something larger? Thanks! (Peace River, Florida, Bone Valley formation, Polk county, Hawthorn group)
  22. Found this nicely-fossilized bone and I can't decide whether it's deer or something else. I seem to recall finding one similar to this a few seasons back, but I can't find it now and I cannot find any reference to it (I don't think I was posting here then). Does anyone know what critter this bone belongs to?
  23. I found this partial skull while hunting in the Peace River (Florida, Bone Valley formation). I am thinking it's either a raccoon or possum. Is there any way to tell? I am fairly certain it is not fossilized and it's pretty fragile.
  24. Went fossil hunting again in Florida's Bone Valley Formation. We returned to the Mammoth site where the large tusk section was recovered on the previous trip. After extensive searching in the area, no further Mammoth specimens were found. We still believe more of the beast is buried nearby, but this site is large and it's like looking for needles in a haystack. So, we are done with this site for a few months until the river drops further to allow better searching. We left the Mammoth site and continued downstream until we arrived at another one of our "honey holes" - a spot in the river that has previously produced numerous Pleistocene megafauna fossils. The site did not disappoint. We were likely the first hunters to arrive at it (it's too far downstream for casual lookers) and there was a lot of low-hanging fruit laying around. Josh proceeded to do some diving in the murky waters, and I waded around the knee-deep tea-colored water - doing a lot of the same bending and stooping that I do while shelling at the beach. The sun was directly overhead at this time, so it illuminated the coffee-black water and made it appear a tan tea color that was much more transparent. Things on the river bed could be easily seen. Lots of pebbles, logs, branches, clay lumps that resemble rocks, and fossils. All of these things are laying in a chaotic mess all over the riverbed in certain places. This lighting would not last, once the angle of the sun changes, the level of illumination drops and the tea colored water slowly changes to opaque coffee black. While the Sun was good, I found numerous bones including some vertebra and phalanges - the former is likely alligator and the latter is probably deer. Some of those appeared to be recent Holocene specimens and some were fossilized and were late Pliocene to late Pleistocene. Also found were numerous turtle scutes, some soft-shell turtle plastrons, some unidentified "chunkasaurus" bone fragments, a piece of Miocene coral with calcite replacement, and a strangely shaped bone of some kind. I left the best for last. Although not a fossil, I found an intact coyote skull that is in wonderful condition and has almost all of the teeth, including the canines. Also found was a partial small skull that is likely a raccoon or possum. These will clean up nicely and go into my growing collection of skulls. Footnote : strangely, we found NO shark teeth, which is very unusual for this site. Although, to be fair, we weren't really focused on shark teeth this time.
  25. Weird Bone, Bone Valley Florida Find

    This is an oddball that I am having trouble identifying. Does anyone know what this is? It was found in the Peace River, Bone Valley formation, Hawthorn Group, Florida in mixed Miocene/Pliocene/Pleistocene deposits. Black cube is 1cm square. Thanks!