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Paleo Discoveries Newsletter                                                             Fall 2012

dire wolf
Dire Wolf
 Welcome to the most recent version of our (overdue) newsletter! 
 First, we want to thank you for making this our best year by far. We've done more tours, programs and Kids' Digs than ever and we have you to thank for that. Thank you especially to all my repeat customers, friends and educators that I see every year on the tours and during the programs. You keep me enjoying what I do for a living. 
  This month we're featuring another famous carnivore of the ice-age period, the Dire Wolf (Canis dirus). 
News-The Peace River Times 
We had a great fossil collecting season this year (although we never really stop) since the dry season and low water levels that started in Oct. carried through to early June. The lack of rain for so long is not really a great thing for Florida water levels in general but it sure helps fossil hunting. The Peace River, along with most south Fla. rivers tends to be higher from June through Oct. 
Megalodon of the Quarter
Sept. 2012 issue meg  
Just a nice tooth from Arcadia a couple of years ago. 2-3/4"
Creature of the Quarter 
The Dire Wolf
Another of the many extra-large carnivores of the Pleistocene epoch is the Dire Wolf.
While superficially similar to the modern gray and timber wolves, the Dire wolf was slightly larger, with shorter, stockier limbs and more massive bone structure. With wider, heavier skulls than modern wolves Dire Wolves were formidible predators. This probably kept the dire wolf from being as good a runner as modern wolves but gave them a power advantage for taking down large prey. 
   While Dire Wolf fossils are found throughout Canada, the U.S. and into Mexico, the largest concentration ever found was at the famous LaBrea Tarpits in Los Angeles. Over 1600 individuals and hundreds of complete skulls have been found at this site alone. In Florida, Dire wolf den sites have been found, primarily in old sinkhole deposits. Found along with bones from wolves are bones from their common prey; horses, camels, rabbits and deer. 
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dire wolf canine
Dire Wolf canine

dire wolf premolar
Dire Wolf 4th upper premolar

spear point
Just for fun pic of a friend's South Carolina ceremonial spear point. About 6"