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President's Message

What a great meeting we had in February. We had a hundred people on hand for Dr. Christina Robin’s discussion and presentation of the fossilized squat lobster. And there were 8 new members in attendance too. Outside of the April meeting right after FossilFest, we don’t usually have that many new members at a monthly meeting. Thanks to all of you who showed up for the meeting and a special welcome to all of the new TBFC members.

March 7, 2015
Walter Stein
The Chicken From Hell; The Real Story on the Collection of Anzu wyleii

Anzu wyleii is a new type of giant North American Oviraptorosaur (dinosaur) from the Hell Creek Formation of South Dakota and Montana. It was originally discovered in the Fall of 1998 by the private collecting team of Fred and Candy Nuss, but wasn't described until just last year. Its collection, preparation, reconstruction, sale, and banishment to the wastelands of scientific limbo for 15 years is full of intrigue, controversy and ultimately, triumph.

Walter Stein was one of the principal players involved in the collection, preparation and description of this amazing new dinosaur. His focus will be on the process of exploring for dinosaurs, fossil preparation of dinosaur bones, and tell the real tale of the collection of Anzu. Anzu has a wide variety of bird-like features and suspected behaviors that has caused many on the scientific team to nickname it, "The Chicken from Hell". Be sure to attend the March meeting for a lecture on one of the coolest new theropods from North America.

March 21 & 22, 2015

At the time of this writing, FossilFest 2015 is just a few weeks away!   As I’ve reported to you before, the majority of funds that TBFC operates on throughout the year are generated at FossilFest.  The event is important to TBFC, not just because of the financial earnings though, almost all of the media attention that helps attract new members to TBFC is received during the weeks leading up to FossilFest.

Any help you can provide as a volunteer or the donation of needed items is greatly appreciated.  Please help make FossilFest 2015 another great and record breaking event!

Volunteers - We will need to staff FossilFest for three days.  Everything begins with set-up on Friday morning (March 20th) and will end with break-down on Sunday afternoon.  You can volunteer for as little as three hours, or for the entire weekend.  We have a job to suit everyone’s capabilities. Volunteers will receive a free FossilFest t-shirt, free admission and free parking! Plus, I give you the TBFC Presidential Guarantee that you’ll enjoy a weekend spent meeting other paleo-enthusiasts and helping teach our community about Florida’s exciting prehistory.

Please contact Seina Searle at (813) 909-9358, or tampabayfossilclub@msn.com to schedule your volunteer hours.  You can also speak with Seina at the March 7th meeting if you have any questions.

Silent Auction - TBFC needs donations of fossil and “paleo” related items for the silent auction.  Do you have a few extra Metaxytherium or Platygonus teeth lying around?  How about too many megalodons for your shelf to handle?  We’ll take ’em!  Any fossil or fossil related items including books, rocks, shells, or minerals are great for the silent auction.  Please go through your collections to see if you can find any fossils that you can spare.  Director Phil Mathes will be running the Silent Auction and accepting donations at TBFC’s March 7th meeting, or you can drop them off on the morning FossilFest begins. It will sure help Phil get the Silent Auction items prepared though, if he can get them in advance.

Kid’s Fossil Sand Mine - The fossil mine is a huge hit with the children who visit FossilFest.  If you haven’t done so already, you need to take the time to stand by the pit for a while and watch these kids digging for fossils.  It’s unbelievable how excited they get (and how much they learn).  TBFC needs both scrap fossils and identifiable fossils to throw into the pit.  Please take the time to "dig" out some donations for the kids.  To make donations to the kid’s fossil mine, please drop them off at the Paleo-Store at TBFC’s March 7th meeting, or bring the donations along with you to FossilFest. These items too are very helpful to get in advance, as they will need to be sorted prior to going into the pit.

Display Cases - This is a great opportunity to show off the fossils that you and your family have found.  The display cases are important as they educate the public and get new folks excited to learn that they can find these same prehistoric treasures too.  Make signs and labels for your fossils, use photos, get creative, and decorate your case to attract a crowd!  You can sign-up for a display case with George Overhuls at TBFC’s March 7th meeting, or drop him an email at: du12746@verizon.net

Please help us with advertising!  If you know anyone who may be interested in FossilFest, please take the time to tell them about our event.  Forward FossilFest information to your email contacts; share it on your Facebook page and other social media.  If your child can take flyers to their school, please don’t hesitate to ask for as many as you may need.  If you would like some FossilFest flyers to pass out to friends and neighbors, please see me at the meeting or contact me ( fossilnerd@msn.com). And if you know someone who owns a television or radio station, give me a call!

Peace River Adventure
April 25th – 26th 2015

The Peace River Adventure has turned into one of TBFC’s most popular outings.   With FossilFest come many new members, some who have never set foot into a river or mine in search of fossilized creatures from the past. The Peace River trip has become these folk’s freshman outing in paleontology and the perfect opportunity to learn how to hunt for their very own fossils. The trip is also a sort of reunion for many of us who have attended the event for almost two decades.

The Peace River Adventure is a wonderful family outing and the only TBFC fieldtrip when we invite non-members to join in on the hunt. This is your opportunity to introduce friends and family to TBFC and Florida’s prehistoric past. The river is at its shallowest level and accessible by hunters of all ages.

The Peace River Adventure will take new and seasoned fossil hunters into the beautiful Peace River near Zolfo Springs.  An afternoon barbeque dinner, benefit auction, and campfires galore will follow the day of fossil hunting.  On top of all of that, the Peace River outing boasts some of TBFC’s hottest selling t-shirts of the year.  You can find registration forms in this edition of the Chronicles.  Sign up early!  This weekend trip only comes around once a year (with some folks arriving as early as Thursday!).  If you have any questions, feel free to contact me: (813) 909-9358 or fossilnerd@msn.com). And, if you’re interested in volunteering at the event for a couple hours, please let me know.

The next two month’s will sure be busy for TBFC. I look forward to spending a lot of time with you folks at FossilFest and the Peace River Adventure.

In closing, I’d like to say a “so long” to a friend of TBFC.  Robert Purvis passed away just a few days before I sat down to write this message to you.  Rob didn’t come to meetings, but I don’t think he missed a FossilFest or Peace River Adventure in more than a decade.  And when he showed up to each event he usually had a donation for TBFC’s next auction. Rest in peace Rob, and my prayers go out to your family.

Good Hunting!
Mike Searle