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Our January meeting this year will be held on January 3, 2015.

President's Message

December 13th Meeting
Dr. Bob Sinibaldi
What Your Fossils Can Tell You:
Pathologies in Fossil Teeth

Over the years TBFC members have made many important contributions to Florida paleontology.  The release a couple of years back of What Your Fossils Can Tell You surely ranks at the top with many of the other fine publications released on the subject of paleontology.

Dr. Bob has been a member of TBFC since the Leisey days, he is a past President, and has remained active in the club as a Director for more than decade since then.  While most of you know Dr. Bob, as a “doctor”, and a Ph.D. graduate, many of you don’t know exactly what field Dr. Bob earned his doctorate.  I know a lot of you have been under the impression that he must have studied in the sciences, biology, or even paleontology since he knows so much about fossils.  Most of you are familiar with Dr. Bob and his books, but for those of you new to TBFC, let me expand on What Your Fossils Can Tell You.

Dr. Bob has been featured in television news shows on several occasions in segments like “What’s Right with Tampa Bay” and “Everyday Heroes”. Dr. Bob has also been awarded the highest teacher of the year award in the country for his work with exceptionally handicapped children. His doctorate is in exceptional child education. If you’ve seen any of the news programs featuring Dr. Bob’s work you would know that he is a saint. His work with handicapped and dying children is remarkable.

When it comes to fossils though, Dr. Bob is an amateur. Trust me here; when I say “amateur”, I do so with the utmost respect.  With the release of What Your Fossils Can Tell You, (and other books) Dr. Bob has risen to the top of the ranks as an amateur paleontologist to show the entire professional scientific community what a great contribution to science amateurs can make.  We’re proud to call Dr. Bob a fellow amateur paleontologist, and proud to have him as a member of the Tampa Bay Fossil Club.

What Your Fossils Can Tell You, is published by one of the most respected publishing houses in the scientific community, University Press of Florida.  It’s a hardback edition, and jam packed with photographic images and illustrations.  To show Dr. Bob’s respect for his fellow amateur fossil hunters, almost all of the photographic images included in What Your Fossils Can Tell You were taken from collections in the amateur community.

Written for the avid amateur and professional paleontologist, What Your Fossils Can Tell You offers both experienced and novice fossil hunters and collectors the information needed to correctly identify and interpret the significance of their discoveries.

Professionals in the field will also use this book as a pictorial resource to assist them in bridging the fields of pathology and archaeology as they relate to paleontology.  Amateur fossil hunters and professionals alike are presented with the tools they need to recognize significant finds and knowledge of how to collect vertebrate fossils responsibly and legally.

Dr. Bob, in informal collaboration with a number of fossil experts and amateurs, has compiled materials with a wide appeal.  He explains many of the complex bumps, grooves, markings, and other anomalies that occur on fossil bones and teeth.  A wealth of photographs helps readers visually identify these features and apply related concepts to their personal collections.  Along with many common specimens, scores of unique fossil items appear here in print for the first time.

If you haven’t already heard, Dr. Bob is also the author of Fossil Diving: In Florida's Waters or Any Other Waters Containing Prehistoric Treasures and The Handbook of Paleontological Terms.

This will be Dr. Bob’s third presentation for TBFC and will focus on pathologies in fossil teeth.  As with fossilized pathological bones, fossil teeth exhibiting pathologies are growing in popularity among amateurs and scientists alike.  Fossilized teeth demonstrating some kind of pathological evidence are more prevalent than fossilized pathological bones for the same reasons that fossil teeth are more prevalent than fossil bones in general.  The prevalence of fossilized teeth does not mean that pathological anomalies occurred more often in teeth than in bone in the prehistoric past; just that the pathological teeth had a better chance of fossilizing because of their hardness.

Dr. Bob’s presentation will discuss dental caries (cavities), periodontal disease, abscesses, unusual wear patterns, and feeding breaks.  All of these anomalies are indicators of some of the stresses and afflictions that plagued prehistoric animals.

We’ll have plenty of copies of the book on hand for purchase and to be signed.

Jurassic Park in the Dark, Again!
A TBFC Movie Event
January 24, 2014

What would be better than spending a beautiful Florida evening outside watching the 1997 sequel The Lost World, Jurassic Park on a big screen?  TBFC has a nice PowerPoint projector and January is certainly a great time of year to spend some time outdoors cuddled up under a blanket with your favorite “paleo” person.  We tried this about a year ago showing the first Jurassic Park movie and it was a huge success.  Nearly 50 people showed up to enjoy the movie and spend some time with other fossil friends.

Bring along some yard chairs or blankets and your own cooler of drinks and snacks, or Thermos full of hot cocoa.  Arrive at 6PM to claim your spot and we’ll get the movie started at 6:30PM.  My address is 2407 Tangerine Hill Court, Lutz, FL 33549.  This is a free TBFC event, so bring the whole family, and the neighbors.  One last thing, if you’ve never seen a T-rex up close before, I have quite the surprise in store for you!  Don’t miss it!

From myself, and the Officers and Directors of TBFC, I would like to wish all of our TBFC family a very happy and safe holiday season.  I look forward to seeing everyone at the December 13th meeting.

Good Hunting,

Michael Searle