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Paleo Discoveries  E-Newsletter                     Summer  2009

 Welcome back-  thanks for tuning in to the latest from the fossilly (I just made that up) world of Paleo Discoveries!  I want to once again thank everyone who's been going out on our tours and participating in our educational programs or ordering yet another jar of our addictive Fossil-Gravel. We're going to be updating and enlarging
our product line and trying to add more of the things you really want. (or need) If you have any
suggestions for us, send them along.

   Another addition to upcoming newsletters along with the "Fossil of the Quarter" is now going to be the "Meg of the Quarter" for those of you who can't get enough of their favorite fossil, the Megalodon shark tooth.
   Thanks also to the many NJ libraries we'll be visiting this summer on our Fossil Discovery Hour roadtrip.

News- The Peace River Times 

Well, it's summertime here in Fla., which means rain, lots of rain. The river has been generally high although we've been able to continue running our trips with a few exceptions. October usually starts a drier period which extends through the spring and brings with it lower water levels. 
  The good news about higher water levels however, is that increased current speeds move lots of sand bars on the river bottom and expose new gravel beds to eager fossil hunters. Be there when the water levels drop this fa
Megalodon of the Quarter

This tooth was found a couple weeks ago in the town of Wauchula. I was having a pretty good, although not great day when this little gem popped into my screen. I was digging gravel off the top of a clay layer and was hoping for something special.  Even though it's not a monster meg, I'm more about the condition or the rarity of the fossils than the size these days, so it made my day. 
Creature Feature-
Fossil Animal of the Quarter

The Tapir

  No, tapirs are not extinct- in fact they're doing well in certain parts of the world, such as Asia and South America. There were tapirs of different species however, which are now extinct, that roamed across North America during during the past.
   The best preserved skull of a fossil tapir was found in Florida in 1916 in my hometown of Vero Beach during canal construction. This species was subsequently named Tapirus Veroensis and put my little hometown on the paleontological map.
   Tapirs are water loving mammals which prefer jungle type habitats and tropical to sub-tropical temperatures. They swim very well and are herbivores.  Today their main threats are habitat destruction and carnivores such as jaguars. Fossil tapirs seemed to differ little from more modern tapirs and apparently shared a similar lifestyle.
  Fossil tapirs lived in North America between 5 million and 10,000 years ago and shared the landscape with mammoths, saber-tooth cats and other more familiar animals. Tapirs also do well in captivity, so the next time you see one swimming happily in a zoo, say hi to a part of the distant past.   

Fossil Tapir Jaw w/2 Molar Teeth-
 Arcadia, Fla.  2008