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Fossil-Treasures-of-Florida-Newsletter, Issue #0001 -- How and Why to Label Your Fossils.
July 12, 2009

Fossil Newsletter, Issue #0001 -- How and Why to Label Your Fossils

July 12, 2009

In this Issue:

* Can You Judge the Size of a Gator by it's Poop?
* How and Why to Label Your Fossils.
* What's New at

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Can You Judge the Size of a Gator by it's Poop?

I don’t know if there is a conversion chart for such a thing, but when you are diving and find giant “fresh” alligator poop, it gets your attention. Case in point, last week I went diving for fossils in one of the many rivers, in Florida, that produce Ice Age material. I had not dove this river in 10 years and while I was diving I discovered a huge pile of fresh (not fossilized) Alligator Poop.

Not seeing any Alligators while boating up the river, I was not naive enough to think that they where not there. When it comes to Alligators, size does matter. Not just in there physical length, but maybe their poop, too.?? I am not too worried about a 3 to 4 foot Alligator, but a 5 foot Gator gets my attention. A 6 to 12 foot Alligator will cause me to relocate. With a number of houses along the river, you never know who might be feeding these gators, which causes them to lose their fear of humans.

Another professional myth is that alligators just attack on the surface of the water. I know of two divers who have been attacked while on the bottom of the river. I have talked to divers who have seen Alligators go after turtles that are diving under logs, to get away, and the gators will try to dig them out.

About 200 feet away from where I was diving was a huge mass of water plants that looked like prime Gator habitat. After finding a third pile of giant “fresh” Alligator Poop and despite finding a nice fossil camel toe bone and fossil armadillo scute, I moved further down river. Just a reminder, that the price you pay when purchasing a fossil may be a deal.

How and Why to Label Your Fossils

It's been said, if you had the choice between loosing your fossil or loosing the label to it; it is better to loose the fossil than the label. Or, a fossil without a label is useless and no more than a curiosity. If you ever decide to donate your fossil collection to a University or Museum, most will not accept them without labels. I personally have lost labels to fossils while moving and gave those fossils away later, because I could not identify them correctly.

There are a number of ways to label your fossils and I am sure that there are those individuals who prefer their own way.

Here is an example of the basic way I label my collection:

Common Name: “Mastodon Tooth”
Species: “Mammut americanum”
Age: “2.4 Million – 11,000 Years old”
Period: “Pleistocene”
Formation: “River Deposit”
Location: "Taylor County, Florida, USA"

This is a solid label. If I do not know all of the information, to fill in the blanks, I leave it blank until I can research it. Please note that there is no penalty for more information. You can use a GPS location number or a detailed sketch or a photo of the area and the site location.

*Remember to keep the fossil label or tag with the fossil.
*Label your fossil ASAP, while the information is fresh in your mind.
*You may want to start a numbering system with each label.
*The more descriptive the information about the deposit collected from and the location, the better.

What's New at

Take a look at these newly added pages! *About Us* *Dinosaur Fossils* *Raptor Dinosaur* *Spinosaurus* *Carcharodontosaurus Dinosaur*

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