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Paleo Discoveries' Newsletter   Spring 2010
 Fossil Gravel

  Welcome to spring! It's been a long, cold winter for everyone, even us here in Fla.- at least, relatively speaking.
  First up, due to requests especially by repeat customers, we are now offering Fossil Gravel in bulk as well as in jars which saves a few bucks and keeps your empty fossil gravel jars from taking up every shelf in the garage. We also have a 20lb educator's pack of gravel which comes with instructions and ID charts. 
It's a great summer activity for camps as well- enough for 30 campers!
 In other news, Paleo Discoveries is now on Facebook. We'll be posting pics from tours and events so check us out.  Join our Fanpage!
News- The Peace River Times
  The water level out by the river has been generally high this winter due to persistent rains after getting off to a dry start in the Fall with lower water levels. We should get back to lower water levels as south Fla. heads into it's dry season this spring.
  If you know someone you think may be interested in our newsletter, use the "Forward Email" link at the bottom.   
Fossil Animal of the Quarter-
The Saber -Tooth Cat
saber cat
  Don't call them tigers! That's from the Flintstones. They're not actually closely related to tigers.
  Saber tooth cats evolved over time through a few species which developed larger saber teeth and larger overall sizes through the Miocene to Pleistocene epochs about 5 million to 10,000 yrs ago. This culminated in the largest and last of the line, Smilodon.
  Smilodon was about the same length as a large African lion today but was much more stocky and muscular and weighed 20-30%  more due to these differences. That made the saber-tooth less of a runner but more of an ambush predator.  Scientists theorize Saber-cats pinned their prey to the ground with their weight and delivered a killing bite to the neck or belly of their prey. Bites in these softer areas would save the cat's sabers from breakage from biting into bone and would kill by blood loss or suffocation.
   Saber cats could also open their jaws at a 90 degree angle, more than the 60 degrees of all other cats to clear the sabers for biting off meat.
  Smilodon shared the world of the late Pleistocene with American Lions, short-faced bears, jaguars, cheetahs, dire wolves and other huge carnivores. Makes me glad to not be born 15,000 years ago when the first people arrived here!
Megalodon of the Quarter

This tooth was found last month in a phosphate gravel bed on the Peace River. The unusual yellow color was probably due to the yellow limestone that was directly below it. alligator scutes
saber c t
 Saber-tooth cat carnassial tooth. Hardee County, Peace River. Carnassial teeth were specialized back teeth that allowed the upper and lower teeth to slice meat like scissors. The back side of this tooth is shaved away from the slicing action of the opposing tooth.