Why do we find fossil shark teeth in such a variety of colors?
Both of these fossil teeth came from the same species of extinct shark--Otodus obliquus--but why are they different colors? Our paleontologist Richard Hulbert has an explanation! It helps to know they came from two different Florida fossil sites...
Some fossil dig sites are actually IN a river, like this one in Florida
Imagine spending #FossilFriday in a river. Our collection holds >11,000 vertebrate fossils from the Ichetucknee, a 4.1 mile long river not far from our Museum. Specimens include American lion (Panthera atrox, shown), osprey (Pandion haliaetus), alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula) & Otodus obliquus, an extinct shark. #fossils #extinctshark #fossilshark #sharkteeth #FloridaFossils
Looking at the large-headed llama (Hemiauchenia macrocephala), an extinct species that once lived in #Florida. The most complete #fossil skeleton was found in Citrus County, and it's on permanent display here at the Florida Museum. #FloridaFossils #Fossils #Exhibits #FossilHall #MuseumExhibits
Jaguars once roamed as far as Florida! These fossils are common.
Jaguars (Panthera onca) first dispersed to North America across the Bering Land Bridge in the Pleistocene and were much larger than those living today in Central and South America. Although they don't live in Florida anymore, they were once common. #fossils #jaguars #BigCats #FloridaFossils
Iconic Skeletons: Giant Ground Sloth
Armed with huge claws, this Giant Ground Sloth specimen stands at 15 feet tall, and is estimated to have weighed more than 3 tons. It's the largest sloth species to migrate north during the Great American Interchange roughly 3 million years ago. The #fossil in our exhibit hall is a popular specimen! #FloridaFossils
Iconic Skeletons: Mammoths vs. Mastodons
Columbian mammoth vs. American mastodon! The first thing you see when you walk into our galleries is a 14-foot-tall, 16,000-year-old Columbian #mammoth skeleton. Around the corner is an American #mastodon. Both of these #fossils were discovered in nearby Aucilla River. Discover the differences between these two ancient proboscideans that once walked the earth thousands of years ago. #FloridaFossils
Fingerprints of ancient forests offer rare look at Florida 16 million years ago
“A site like this is rare in #Florida, and the flora and fauna here are relatively diverse. For Florida, it’s one of the few places where you can actually find fossil leaves, fruit, pollen and flowers in exposed sediment,” said Terry Lott. A decade of research at the Florida Museum reveals what #Florida looked like 13 to 16 million years ago. #paleobotany #fossils #FloridaFossils #FossilPlants
These rare Floridatragulus dolichanthereus #fossils are from an extinct extinct long-jawed camel known from about 60 total specimens all found at the Thomas Farm locality in Florida. Related species fossils are found in other areas of North America #FloridaFossils #Florida #ancientFlorida #prehistoricFlorida
The Virginia opossum (or North American opossum) has been living in North America for around 600,000 years, according to our #fossil records. It was one of many species to move her from South America during the during the Great American Biotic Interchange. #FloridaFossils #Florida #ancientFlorida #prehistoricFlorida
Carcharodon hastalis #fossil teeth have been found in most Miocene and Pliocene marine deposits in Florida where sharks are present. Many paleontologists believe it to be ancestral to the living great white shark. #FloridaFossils #Florida #ancientFlorida #prehistoricFlorida #sharks
This #fossil is a Leidy’s giraffe camel (Aepycamelus major) from #Florida over 6 million years ago. It had an estimated shoulder height of at least 13 feet, plus an additional 5 to 6 feet for the neck, which makes it likely Florida's tallest land mammal. #FloridaFossils #Florida #ancientFlorida #prehistoricFlorida
This loooong fossil is from the leg of an extinct species of stork. Asphalt storks were large--over 4 feet tall--and they appear in the #fossil record across North America. This #Florida fossil is from nearby Ichetucknee River. Common name: asphalt stork or La Brea stork | Species: Ciconia maltha | Specimen: # UF/PB 8067 | Age: Late Pleistocene #FloridaFossil #BirdFossil #stork
Montbrook Fossil Dig
Look at this gomphothere jaw from our Montbrook #fossil dig site! Look at those teeth. It took the entire Montbrook team of staff and volunteers to excavate this Rhynchotherium and now it's in the prep lab being carefully pieced back together. Many fossils need to be reconstructed like giant (heavy, yet fragile) puzzles that take hours. Species: Rhynchotherium sp. / Specimen: UF 432000 #SummerOfSpecimens #paleontology
Montbrook Catalogue Entries Break the 20K Barrier!
Our Montbrook #fossil dig team has assigned the 20,000th catalog number to an Amphiuma specimen! It was collected by long-time #volunteer Dean Warner and cataloged thanks to an NSF grant. #paleontology #NSFgrant #fossils #Florida
This capybara #fossil (Hydrochoerus) dates to ~160-300 thousand years ago, before humans arrived here in #Florida. It was an invasive that integrated into the food web successfully, eating native plants and becoming prey for native predators. Capybara arrived in North America during the same period as terror birds and mastadons. Specimen: UF 11337 #SummerOfSpecimens #fossils #CollectionsAreEssential
Florida Museum Science
Look familiar? There are several modern species of "cup-and-saucer" snails, but this #fossil #mollusk, Crucibulum lawrencei, is from the Pliocene (~5.3-2.5 million years ago). The little inner cup is where the muscle attaches to the shell. #SummerOfSpecimens
Five Facts: Megalodon
Carcharocles #megalodon was an apex predator in ancient oceans and grew to about 60 feet long. Scientists estimate the species went extinct ~2.6 million years ago, but there are many places around the world you can find #fossil shark teeth, and #Florida is one of the best. #SummerOfSpecimens #CollectionsAreEssential #sharks #extinct #teeth #fossilhunting #3Dprinting
Smilodon fatalis is just one saber-tooth cat species found in #Florida, and it's one of the larger of the Smilodon species--something close to the size of a tiger. This came from the Ichetucknee River, not far from here. A lot of fantastic #fossils have been found in Florida's rivers, but rivers offer their own complex issues to studying these discoveries. #SummerOfSpecimens #Fossil #sabertoothcats
Florida Museum Science
Siderastrea coral is a colonial coral that grows in low dome shapes, sometimes on top of older growths like this. (Does it look like pancakes to you?) This #fossil coral doesn't look much different than modern species do, even though it's from the Pliocene, making it several million years old. #SummerOfSpecimens #fossils #coral
After the bigger fossils are retrieved from our Montbrook #fossil dig, what happens to the rest of the 'stuff'? A lot! Hop over to the Montbrook site & blog to learn more about the microverts, the dig, and info on how to get involved! Hint: #snakes, #frogs, sirens, and more! #FossilFriday #FrogFriday