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Paleo Discoveries Newsletter

Spring 2011

Short faced bear color

  Hi again fossil fans!  Welcome to our late but better than never spring 2011 issue.

   On the right is our featured animal/fossil beast this month, the Giant short-faced bear. It may look at first glance like any other bear (except Yogi) but it's huge size and  shortened snout sure made it distinctive. 

  We also have something new to offer you. We're considering offering an out-of-state trip to Nebraska and want to see how many of you out there would be interested. Details below-

  Of course we have a new "Meg of the Quarter" and the biggest news of all- we now are proud owners of 6 - 15' canoes and a trailer (naturally) to tote them wherever we want to go here in the great state of Florida. We now have the flexibility to cover any stretch of the Peace River within a reasonable paddling distance to reach all the out-of the way sites that have previously been out of reach. It's already paying off as some great new areas are now available. Hope everyone likes shark teeth, because we're getting LOTS.

Nebraska Fossil Expedition

Paleo Discoveries is considering a fossil expedition to the badlands of Nebraska at the famous locality near Crawford. Right now we are gauging interest for a trip in late Sep. 2011 which will be 5 days total- 2 travel, 3 collecting. This locality is famous for beautifully preserved land mammals of Oligocene age between 24- 34 million years old.

 Details: You cover airfare to Rapid City, SD and all meals. Once at Rapid City airport, we cover all transportation to and from the ranch, fossil guiding, and lodging for 4 nights at the beautiful and rustic High Plains Homestead B+B. Approx. cost for this package is $540 PP based on 7 participants. Please e-mail or call us for more info. Check the link below to see the B+B/ranch and respond to us by the end of May if interested so we can put this trip together. 



Megalodon of the Quarter

Green meg

This meg came from an area south on the Peace River from Arcadia. Green is not a common color for shark teeth but sometimes shows up here in Fla., especially in the phosphate mines where chemical composition in the soil brings out different colors in the fossils. This tooth is 3-5/8" on the longest side.



Do you canoe? Even if you don't paddle, you can always ride. Let someone else do the work for a change! Get out there-

Feature Creature-

The Giant Short-Faced Bear 

3 bears

 Size comparison from front to back of grizzly,polar and short-faced bears. 


Bear teeth

Molar Tooth (top) and canine (below) of Short-faced bear Tremarctos Floridanus from the Peace River- Arcadia and Zolfo Springs. 

 The Giant Short-Faced Bear lived alongside many of the other familiar animals of the ice-age or Pleistocene epoch of North America from 2 million years ago up until 10,000  years ago when it went extinct. It was the largest land carnivore of it's time at 11 ft tall when standing, 5 ft at the shoulder and weighed 1800 lbs., which is twice the weight of a modern day grizzly bear. It's size alone would likely have been very intimidating for any other animal of its time.

 Comparing the short-faced bear to the more familiar grizzly and polar bear shows other differences such as proportionally longer, thinner legs, and an even more massive, broadened muzzle than modern bears. With teeth closer to the back of the skull, biting force would have been multiplied compared to modern bears.  Their teeth indicated they were omnivores such as modern bears and probably foraged for roots, nuts, and berries as well as eating meat when available.

Their long legs probably gave them an advantage when ranging the large open tundra,  prairies and grasslands that made up much of the landscape of the Pleistocene from Alaska to Florida. 


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