In the river-bed of the Peace River in Florida, USA everywhere you can find fossils in the gravel banks. Sometimes the gravesl is covered with a sandlayer. In the gravel you can find fossils from the Miocene and from the Pleistocene (part of the Quaternary and Neogene periods).
Florida has changes between land and sea a few times the last couple of milion years. The river cuts through several layers resulting in fossil finds from various layers and periods.
The best method is to look in the gravel on the river bottom. From february until May the water is lower than normal, and best for collecting fossils. A shovel and a (0,5 centimetre) sieve are necessary. Also handy is a detailed topografical map with all the bends and bridges in the river.
The best places are the bends in the river, where coarse gravel accumulates. Don't give up early, but dig deeper instead. It is not allowed to dig in the riverbanks itself.
Watch out for snakes at the riverbanks and under tree roots. When bitten: Keep calm and seek medical assistance. Do not tie up the bitten area or suck out!
Aligators are normally quite nice, but when over two metres you better look for an other spot.
For collecting shark teeth and bivalves you don't need a fossilpermit. It is sensible to obtain a (reasonably priced) "Florida Fossil Permit" in case you find a mammoth tooth.
Literature: - Fossiling in Florida, Mark Renz - Megalodon, Mark Renz - Florida's Fossils, Robin C. Brown
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Sieving the river bottom gravel.
Added by: Supergraver on 22-03-2012
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Close to the collecting location there is a simple camping site. From here you can visit the site. The area is about one and a halve hours drive, southwest of Orlando.
Use mainroad 17 (to the south) and follow the road until Zolfo Springs (Hardee county). At the village road 17 is crosses state roads 64 and 66. The campsite Pioneer Park (not expensive) is located alongside the intersection. You can camp for free during hunting season at State Run Hunting preserves.
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You can find marine Miocene and Pleistocene land fossils. In some other rivers in the area you can find Plioceen material (mainly bivalves and gastropods). In the north of Florida you can even find Eocene fossils in the rivers.
Normally you will find many sharkteeth. The more common species are Negaprion and Carcharhinus. You can also find Galeocerdo and Hemipristis The Carcharocles megalodon is less common.
Other common fossils are: snake vertabrae, Alligator teeth, deer and horseteeth, ray teeth, fish remains, Glyptodont parts, and parts of turtle shells.
There are 13 photographs of fossils from this location in our Fossil ID System.
Go to the FL Peace River Species List to identify your own finds!
Literature recommended by members
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Other locations in the area
Fossil location: Mulberry (Phosphate Museum)
Museum: Mulberry Phosphate Museum
Thanks to Martijn Schalk for sending this description.
Everybody using the fossil collecting location descriptions from this site has to respect the Collecting Code!
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