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Notice: Change of meeting time!

We've changed the time for our Saturday meetings from 7:30 PM to 7:00 PM.
This will help keep the meetings from running too late,
if a speaker goes too long.

President's Message

This sure is a busy time of the year for TBFC. In the next three or four months we’ll need to get in four more monthly meetings, eight or more field trips, and the largest paleo show in the south, FossilFest 2019! As soon as we get the doors to FossilFest closed and the whole show back into its box, we’ll be loading up for the Peace River Adventure. The Peace River Adventure is TBFC’s largest annual field trip where 300+ people will gather for a “paleo” weekend. With the help of the Officers, Directors, and good folks like you, everything will be accomplished and we’ll have a great time doing it. Please read through TBFC’s volunteer needs for FossilFest in this edition of the Chronicles.

February 2nd Meeting
The Fossil Trove of Montbrook, Florida!
Dr. Richard Hulbert
Florida Museum of Natural History

If there’s a hole in the ground with scientifically significant fossils to be found, you can bet Dr. Richard Hulbert knows about it. As the Collection Manager at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville, he’s been in charge of Florida’s vertebrate fossil treasures for nearly a quarter of a century. Some would say Dr. Richard’s specialty is curation, organization, and preservation. And they’d be correct. One of Dr. Richard’s skills that some of you may not know about though is his genuine interest to befriend the amateur fossil hunter. He has the ability to convey the importance of scientifically significant fossils to the random guy in a canoe, ranchers and farmers, and all the way up to county governments. Dr. Richard is probably the most important reason the Florida Fossil Permit system is as successful as it is. His true love of Florida’s prehistory doesn’t hurt either.

Montbrook Fossil Site

Legend has it, according to Dr. Richard, is that a little girl was wandering around on her grandparents’ property where some earth was being moved. It was the end of summer; there had been heavy rains and natural erosion. The 4-year-old picked up an object and took it to her elders and they knew instantly it was a bone that was layers and layers under the soil. The family notified the Florida Museum of Natural History. Dr. Richard quickly recognized the fossil site’s potential. Not since 1884 when Mixson’s Bone Bed was found has such a find been located in Williston. Now, over 100 years later, another significant find has again put Williston on the map. Montbrook is not just a significant find for Williston, it’s one of the largest fossil sites ever found in Florida.

Museum staff members along with volunteers, dedicate about 300 days each year to unearth treasures from the past. Unlike the Mixson site, which was estimated at 9 million years old, the Montbrook dig is younger at only 5 million years old.

Dr. Richard says something is found every day, including new rhinoceros, elephant and llama. And don’t forget, the alligators, turtles, occasional birds and even fish vertebrae.

Come to the February meeting to hear about this unbelievable fossil site and how you can participate in the excavations.

FossilFest 2019 March 8, 9 & 10 As we turn our calendars to 2019, FossilFest is just a couple of months away. It will take our entire TBFC tribe to pull it off. In this issue of the Chronicles you will find a long list of information about volunteering for the event and all of the items we need to have donated. Please take a few minutes to read through the entire list. FOSSILFEST NEEDS YOU!

I hope to see another good crowd at the January meeting.

Good Hunting!

Mike Searle

Good Hunting,
Mike Searle