Guided Fossil Hunting Tours Educational Programs
Educational Products and Gifts
Paleo Discoveries' Newsletter  Fall 2010
Jeff and Dawn Sinsko

  Welcome to the next issue of our newsletter- thanks for taking a few minutes to see what we can offer you and your students this season. Our fossil hunting field trips and educational programs as well as educational materials and books continue to be the core of our business and our main focus. Our educational programs can be offered for as little as $10 per student- plus they accommodate the Florida history curriculum for 4th graders. They're really in-school field trips and include a mini fossil dig with real fossils students get to keep. To learn more about Paleo Discoveries, please refer to our website for details.   
 In this issue we'll be profiling rays and skates in our "Fossil of the Quarter", we'll have another Megalodon pic for you, give you some updates on conditions and a fossil-hunting tip or two.    
News- The Peace River Times
 The water level rose recently with summer rains but as Florida enters the fall river levels will drop as rainfall usually tapers off. We'll be doing tours and class trips regularly.  
If you know someone you think may be interested in our newsletter, use the "Forward Email" link at the bottom.   
Fossil Animals of the Quarter- Rays and Skates

sting ray

  Rays and their relatives skates have been around this planet since at least the Cretaceous period about 100+ million years ago. Since then, their basic design has barely changed. Fossils of rays and skates are almost indistinguishable from modern species.
 Rays and skates share skeletons made of cartilage with sharks and other relatives such as sawfish. Since cartilage is soft, it rarely fossilizes. Stingray and ray fossils consist primarily of isolated toothplate sections, dermal spines or thorns, and tailspine segments.
  Here in Fla. and in many other areas up the east coast of the US and around the world, fossils of these animals are one of the most common finds in marine sediments. It's possible to find hundreds of ray fossils in one day.
sting ray
Stingray Tailspine
sting ray
Stingray or skate dermal spine
sting ray
Ray dental plate- usually found as isolated rectangular sections which have a comblike look on one side.
Megalodons of the Quarter

3 megs
These Megalodon shark teeth were found in the Arcadia area on 3 separate trips back in May/June. The colors can vary widely even within a very short proximity because of differences in sediment composition.
Sizes are 3", 3-5/8", 2-3/4"

Paleo Discoveries' ScreenSifter  
 Want to make a job easier and do it better? Who doesn't ? The key is always the same, use good equipment. Our screen sifter is sturdy, light and uses the best materials to make sifting river gravel for fossils easy. $35 and available on our website store.
Here's a fossil hunting tip- when searching areas of streams or river beds where there is a large amount of black phosphate rock, look for areas where there is larger rock accumulated instead of finer, smaller pebbles to find larger fossils. Small gravel usually equals more, but smaller, fossils. Larger gravel (marble sized up to baseball sized) will tend to have fewer, but larger fossils.

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These are four of our favorite books that target Florida Paleontology specifically and are highly recommended reading for anyone interested in ancient Florida natural history. Educator discounts apply for larger orders- please call or e-mail us. They're described in detail and available on our website store