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Fossil-Treasures-of-Florida-Newsletter, Issue #0003 -- Fossil Treasures from Springs
September 01, 2009

Fossil Newsletter, Issue #0003 -- Fossil Treasures from Springs

September 1, 2009

In this Issue:

* Florida Mammoth Carving first art in America?
* Fossil Treasures from Springs
* What's New at

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Florida Mammoth Carving first art in America?

Has the first artwork of a Mammoth carved on a fossil bone been discovered in Vero Beach, Florida? Click here to read about Mammoth Carving in Florida.

The 15 inch fragment was discovered by fossil collector James Kennedy and has been identified by Barbara Purdy, professor emerita of anthropology at UF as a fossil Mammoth/Mastodon or Giant Sloth bone. Extensive tests have been done to determine if the etching is authentic. After months of study, Barbara Purdy, believes the etching to be real.

Fossil Treasures from Springs

Eleven thousand years ago the springs, in Florida, were the major source of water for Mega-Fauna of the Pleistocene Period or Ice Age. These animals came to the springs to drink and eat the green vegetation. If you were a carnivore you came to eat the animals drinking and eating at the springs. The bottom line is that fossils can be found at a number of springs. These can include the bones and teeth of fossil Sloth, Camels or Paleo-Llamas, Mastodons, Saber-Toothed Cats, Tapir, Deer, Horse, fossilized Shark Teeth and many more.

The clear water makes it easy for divers, and those who snorkel, to see the fossils. In the 1950’s and 1960’s it was all available, but now the easy stuff has been hunted and some springs are restricted from collecting; like in state parks. Also, a reminder that any fossil vertebrates (with the exception of fossil shark’s teeth) require a permit from the state of Florida and users should be familiar with the regulations.

Having said all that, finding fossils in springs can be quiet rewarding. Most springs produce a creamy-white or caramel color tooth with brown roots. These teeth are absolutely stunning and it is easy to identify the source of their discovery. It is a lot of work fanning sand from limestone cracks and fissures. These gems are hard to find, but very rewarding when you do discover these underwater fossil treasures of Florida.

This picture shows an associated set of fossil camel/paleo-llama teeth, that I found, all in the same limestone pocket.

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