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Khyssa

Mosaic Fort Green Mine

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Khyssa

Saturday I was able to go to Mosaic's Fort Green mine for half a day of fossil hunting. I woke up at 4 in the morning and was on the road just before 5. That should have gotten me there an hour early but since I didn't have a good address to enter into my Garmin I wanted to give myself plenty of leeway. Good thing since I ended up on the wrong side of the mine and it took half an hour to get to the right spot. I was still only the second person there, not counting our mine guide. The trip was organized by the Tampa Bay Fossil Club and was limited to only 30 people. When you consider that the club has around 600 members I was pretty lucky to get to go!

The weather was comfortable, if overcast, but the mosquitos were quick to attack. Lucky I had some insect repellant which I shared with several other people who had forgotten them. It had rained only the day before but the road to the spoil pile we were to hunt around were fairly dry until we were almost in site of the hunting spot at which point it turned too muddy for those of us with smaller cars (I drive a Honda Fit). Our guide stopped and walked down the long line of cars telling us all to turn around so that we were facing the right direction for driving back out. Now this was somewhat of a challenge for me as I had just driven through a very muddy spot and there was marsh on both sides of the road. Even calling it a road was stretching things a bit as it was really two dirt tire paths with some very tall grass growing between them. That was a many point turn around as I tried to avoid getting stuck in the mud and I wasn't the only one having difficulties. It was pretty tight fit for the people driving large trucks! Once we were all turned around we got out of the vehicles and started milling around on the road as we all impaitionately waited for the go ahead to make for the spoil pile. A few of the sharper eyed people started finding fossils in the mud along the road. I wish I had thought to take some pictures at this point but was to focused on the search to even consider getting out my phone.

About halfway to the pile the ground to each side of the road was plowed up which caused everyone to fan out to start the search. This area wasn't all that productive for me and was very muddy. After sinking and and slipping around a few times too many I made my way over to the main pile. I spent most of my time hunting up and down the grooves cut into one side of the pile and along made it about a quarter of the way around it before we had to leave at 12:30. I really wish we could have stayed longer as it will probably be a long time before I get to go back. Thankfully it didn't start to rain until we were back onto paved roads.

There were chunks of dugong rib bone everywhere and I was tempted to pick up quite a few of them as they had some pretty colors to them. I resisted most of them though as I didn't want to weigh myself down too early and didn't want to waste time trekking back to the car to drop them off.

I found quite a mix of fossils over the coarse of the day although all but one of the megs I found were broken and even the intact one had a few chips. The highlight of my day was when I spotted a whale/dolphin earbone that was mostly intact. That was the first one I've ever found. I also found a couple partial whale/dolphin verts. I also found a range of smaller sharks teeth including one still in the matrix. Some of my other finds were a couple fish verts, a few pieces of turtle shell, a battered glyptodont scute, a large piece of stingray barb, part of a large fish mouth plate, and piece of whale tooth. And because I wouldn't be me if I didn't find at least a few tiny fossils I was picked up a tiny fish grinding mill, part of a small drum fish tooth, and a possible gar fish tooth.

More to follow.

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Khyssa

Here are some of my mystery finds. I think one of them may be a piece of jaw bone, possibly gator, and one of the is a good sized internal mold cating of a mollusk.

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Khyssa

And then there are the fragments of horse teeth. At least I think they are all horse teeth.

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Khyssa

I was also picking up every chunk of tooth enamel I came across. There were several pieces that were easily recognizable as mastodon, a few possible chunks of gomph, and one large piece that is possibly rhino. After using half a bottle of water cleaning the possible rhino tooth up I had several other people look it over and they also thought it was probably rhino! It will be among the fossils I'll take to the next club meeting to get identified.

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Khyssa

Then there are the two large mystery chunks. The first is obviously bone and I think it is part of a skull but of what I have no idea. The second could be part of a bone or it could be a piece of fossil wood, I'm really not sure.

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Khyssa

And lastly, here are some in situ pictures. This wasn't the end of my day as after I left the mine I headed over to the Peace river to meet up with a friend for some more fossil hunting. We didn't leave there until just before sundown. I didn't find anything exciting there . Mostly small shark teeth, a small armadillo scute, a partial rodent incisor, partial horse tooth, and turtle shell. I'll post pictures of them later.

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Edited by Khyssa

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JarrodB

It looks like you had a great hunt.

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ZiggieCie

Great photos, great trip report.

THX for taking us in your pocket. :goodjob:

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PaleoWilliam

Nice!

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jcbshark

Nice finds and pics ! They sure have some nice colors out there :fistbump:

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Khyssa

Here are my finds of the day from the Peace river. Small shark teeth, urchin spines, puffer fish mouth plates, broken horse tooth, broken deer teeth, rodent incisor, armadillo scute, bits of ivory, and three mystery items.

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digit

Great trip report. Glad you got the opportunity to make it out to Mosaic. Quarry trips can be fun but they tend to feel like marathons to me. All lined up at the starting gun and trying to be as efficient as possible with the limited time you have before they call and end to the outing. Love the in situ photos it really transports me to the place. I often forget to take enough photos on guided trips like this as I'm often too rushed trying to figure out what I'm doing. I'm getting better at taking scenic photos which are useful in setting the stage for a trip report so others can feel that they are there with you.

The rodent incisor is pretty sweet. I've only found tiny ones while searching micro-matrix. Most have come from cotton rats or voles and are the diameter of a toothpick. Can you take a close-up of this one with something for scale so we can see how big this one is? This appears to be something large like a squirrel or something.

The "mystery" pieces in the last photo above appear to be silicified with some botryioidal formations. Possibly corals or other geological pieces that have been replaced with silica.

Cheers.

-Ken

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Khyssa

Thanks, Ken. I only remembered to take some pictures after seeing someone else doing so. The rodent incisor is the largest one I've found so far even though it's broken. For some reason my phone won't let me upload a picture but the tooth is 1.5 cm long.

Edited by Khyssa

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jpevahouse

And then there are the fragments of horse teeth. At least I think they are all horse teeth.

The teeth are well worn but appear to be early horse molars, possibly pre equus, maybe Pliocene era? Do you know the general age of this site?

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Khyssa

The teeth are well worn but appear to be early horse molars, possibly pre equus, maybe Pliocene era? Do you know the general age of this site?

I think that the area is Miocene, possibly Pliocene/Pleistocene.

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old bones

I am just seeing this now... What a great trip you had. So many enviable finds. I am rather partial to the enamel chunks, and those are some nice ones. And a possible rhino chunk too ?! You must let us know when you get that confirmed. Thanks for sharing all the photos. (I'll stop drooling now....)

Julianna

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Khyssa

I am just seeing this now... What a great trip you had. So many enviable finds. I am rather partial to the enamel chunks, and those are some nice ones. And a possible rhino chunk too ?! You must let us know when you get that confirmed. Thanks for sharing all the photos. (I'll stop drooling now....)

Julianna

It was a great trip and I was very happy to find so many chunks of enamel, particularly since some are big enough to easily identify. The club meeting is this weekend so I'll hopefully get a confirmation on the possible rhino tooth.

Oops, just remembered the meeting isn't until the second saturday this month...

Edited by Khyssa

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Pagurus

I missed this last week. Terrific trip report. Thanks for all the details, Khyssa. Good finds too!

Mike

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Khyssa

Saturday night was the TBFC meeting and I was able to get some of my fossils identified before the meeting. The Partial tooth that I thought might be Rhino has been confirmed. So happy about that! Mystery chunk 1 is part of a whale skull and chunk two is a piece of petrified wood making it the first piece of petrified wood I've ever found in Florida.

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digit

Way cool Kara!

Rhino is still on my wish list. Maybe I'll get lucky this season :fingers crossed:

Cheers.

-Ken

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Khyssa

Thanks, Ken. After hearing how rare it can be to find rhino anything I feel pretty lucky to have found even a partial tooth.

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Plantguy

And lastly, here are some in situ pictures. This wasn't the end of my day as after I left the mine I headed over to the Peace river to meet up with a friend for some more fossil hunting. We didn't leave there until just before sundown. I didn't find anything exciting there . Mostly small shark teeth, a small armadillo scute, a partial rodent incisor, partial horse tooth, and turtle shell. I'll post pictures of them later.

Hey Kara, nice report. I like very much seeing the insitu pictures. I know I have to really think about taking the photo 1st before I pick something up but I think I like those kinds of photos so much more than when the specimens are all cleaned up. Congrats again on the rhino. Regards, Chris

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digit

In situ pictures are the best. It's just so hard to remember to whip out the camera and capture the moment of discovery before palming the find and chuckling with glee. I find In situ photos great vicarious fun--almost like peering over the shoulder of the person making the discovery. I try to encourage people to take and post these type of photos and I earnestly try to remember to pull out the camera when I find items of interest.

Rhino tops my list for this season's hunting on the Peace River. I seem to have an odd self-fulfilling lucky streak so I'm tasking it with a nice rhino tooth for the upcoming months. We'll see how I do.

Cheers.

-Ken

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Khyssa

Ken, I hope you do find something from a rhino. Right now I just want the Peace river to stay down at a reasonable level for hunting. Seems like each time I try to plan a trip down there the water level rises again!

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digit

Yup. It's rained HARD the last couple of evenings keeping my pool topped-off (if a little green) and water in my swales. Apparently, the dry season didn't get the memo to start this year. We've already seen some lovely finds come out of the Peace this year from those who were brave enough and in a position to get to the river on the few days when it has been borderline huntable. With all this pent-up fossil hunting passion I expect the river to be quite busy once the waters finally recede. I'll know the water level is down when my TFF keyword searches for "peace river" start netting more new topics--I won't even have to look at a river gauge (though I may make the Peace River water level page my "home page" in my browser). ;)

Won't be long now.... (how long have I been saying that?)....

Cheers.

-Ken

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