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Paleo Discoveries E-Newsletter Fall 2009
 Hi everyone- and welcome once again to the latest edition of our newsletter! At left is a pic of one of the few nice fossil sand dollars from the Peace River. They're tough to get like this, fragments are more the norm; but if you twist my arm, I may tell you where to get your own!

 In the past, we haven't generally sold many fossils, other than those in the Fossil
Gravel in our store, but the requests have started coming in more often, so soon we should be offering a few things through our website store. If you have a specific request for a certain fossil you would like to purchase, let us know.  Everyone likes to find their own, but sometimes you just don't find one, especially if you can only fossil hunt a few times a year. 
   I've said it before and I'll say it again- thanks for your interest in Paleo Discoveries.
News- The Peace River Times
  Well, after the rainiest summer in the past 5 years, the clouds seem to have parted. The rains have held off, and south Florida should be into the start of the dry season.  Keep your fingers crossed, fossil-hunters!
  The water level at the river has dropped significantly as of this writing (Oct 14) and we've had some good trips lately. The high, fast flowing water over the last 4 months has flushed out some new fossils and moved the sandbars around to expose some new gravel beds. Come out and collect before the crowds descend!

Fossil Animal of the Quarter-
The Giant Armadillo

giant armadillo
  Imagine you're driving your typical stone-age car back in the Pleistocene period about 2 million years ago. You know- the one Fred Flintstone drove with foot-power acceleration. You come around a bend late at night and you see something in the road ahead of you. Before you can react, you hit the poor animal but you take the worst of it. The crash knocks your car off the road!
  You've just met Holmesina septentrionalis, the Giant Armadillo, which reached lengths of over 6 feet.
 Giant armadillos migrated up to North America  from South America along with other animals such as llamas, tapirs and sloths when ocean levels dropped allowing them to cross a land bridge which now existed in the area near Panama.
  Giant armadillos are superficially similar to today's armadillos but differ in some subtle ways. They were herbivorous instead of omnivorous and the arrangement of the shell sections were different. Their teeth were also different, not just larger, which is the best clue to their diet.
  The Giant Armadillo lived in the southern part of North America from approximately
1.5 million years ago up until their extinction about 10,000 years ago along with most other large mammals. 
  As fossils, we most commonly find shell sections (scutes) or isolated teeth or jaw sections.
Megalodon(s) of the Quarter

These two teeth from the Peace River are anything but the usual color (black). They were found in a much lighter color sediment and not exposed to dark river water yet which is what usually colors them darker. The tooth on the left is about 2 inches long and the other is just under 3. The larger one also shows evidence of feeding damage, which is commonly found on megalodon teeth. Biting into struggling dolphins and whales will do that! 

Giant Armadillo shell sections (Scutes)
Small section- approx. 2 "
Largest section approx. 3- 1/2" 

Giant Armadillo tooth- approx. 1-1/2"  

Giant Armadillo tooth- another view