The fossils in this exhibit were found in south and southwest Florida creeks and rivers. They're as young as 10,000 years and as old as five million years.

Florida emerged from the warm Atlantic Ocean about 30 million years ago, 35 million years after dinosaurs became extinct. For that reason, no one has ever found any dinosaur bones in our state. However, ancient mammals and sharks thrived here, including such unusual creatures as two-story tall giant ground sloths, VW-size armadillos, tiny three-toed horses, humpless camels, hornless rhinos, fierce saber-toothed cats, massive mammoths and sharks nearly as large as a blue whale.

Florida's first people were here to witness--if not participate in--the demise of many of these animals some 10,000 to 15,000 years ago. (See Archaeology section of this site.)

For additional photos to help you in identifying your finds, see the book, FOSSILING IN FLORIDA: A GUIDE FOR DIGGERS AND DIVERS. Many of the photos contained within the museum appear courtesy of University Press of Florida. Please do not reproduce them without their permission.

For additional photos to help you identify mammoth bones, see the photos of the entire skeleton here

Alligator Armadillo Barracuda
Bear Bison Camel/Llama
Cat Deer Dolphin/Porpoise
Dugong/Manatee Fish Horse
Mammoth Mastodon Shark1 or Shark2
Ray Sloth Tapir
Turtle/Tortoise Whale Wood (Petrified)
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