TBFC Logo Mammoth

President's Message

Welcome back TBFC!

It’s that time of year again!  The kids are heading back to school, the dog days of summer will soon be coming to an end, and it’s time to wake the Tampa Bay Fossil Club from its summer hibernation!  As usual, TBFC’s Officers and Directors have already been hard at work preparing for you another great season of interesting meetings, informative lectures, and lots of field trip and fossil hunting adventures!

The first thing I would like to do is take the opportunity to thank and introduce you to this season’s line-up of Officers and Directors of the Tampa Bay Fossil Club.  These are the folks that make TBFC the greatest fossil club in the USA!

Bill Faucher - Vice President,
Glenna Overhuls – Treasurer,
Joe Dumount – Secretary,
Barbara Fite - Immediate Past President & Historian,
Leslie Branin - Director/Sales,
John Cronin – Director,
Fred Hendershot - Director/Field Trips,
Phil Mathes - Director/Silent Auction,
Roger Morgan – Director/Web Site,
Teresa Morgan - Director/Refreshments,
George Overhuls - Director/Display Cases,
Robert Page – Director,
Seina Searle - Director/Volunteers,
Dr. Bob Sinibaldi - Director/Auctioneer,
Lou Villei - Director/Field Trips,
Jerry Zolg - Director/FossilFest Layout,
Darren & Nicole Watts - Paleo Store & Club Sales,
Debbie Porter - Education Director/Outreach,
John & Cheryl Jacobs - Meeting Hosts

TBFC Advisors are: Dr. Peter Harries, North Carolina State & Dr. Jay O’Sullivan, University of Tampa

September 12th Meeting
Meet the cast of the Television Series,
Fossil Hunters!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat watching some reality show on television and thought to myself, “Fossil hunting is much more exciting than that”.  Many of my experiences in the Badlands and underwater while hunting for fossils seem far more adventurous than those I’ve watched on Duck Dynasty and Honey Boo Boo.  When I saw there actually was a fossil hunting television show in the works, I got excited.  I was ecstatic when I saw it was based in Florida.

Don Brunning created FOSSIL HUNTERS the TV series with his wife April because he has had a passion for fossil hunting since he was a young boy in the mid-1960's.  He began by collecting small shark's teeth in Venice, FL with his family when they visited there in the summers.  In the mid 1980's after college, he returned to SCUBA dive off Venice beach and found much of an articulated Columbian Mammoth including four of its teeth, a partial tusk, and leg bone.

I first saw Don many years ago via videos on YouTube.  I had no idea at the time who he was, but I was amazed to watch him snorkel around a shallow river picking up large, well preserved fossils of many Ice Aged creatures.  Turns out that in the summer of 1990, he co-discovered one of Florida's largest fossil sights while in the Wekiva River in Sanford FL.  There he found the fossils of mastodons, mammoths, giant sloths, camels, bison, and 58 other extinct species.  The majority of the discovery went to the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville, FL where one of the tusks he found remains on display.

Don’s plan is to bring the entire cast of Fossil Hunters to the September meeting.  We’ll meet the cast, preview an episode from the show, then hear from the Fossil Hunters about their hunting adventures and the future of the show.

Fossil Hunters has already began appearing on PBS channels throughout Florida.  Unfortunately, WEDU in Tampa has yet to pick up the Fossil Hunters series, so don’t miss this opportunity to see the show.  Don is currently pitching Fossil Hunters to major networks like Discovery and History channels.  This may be your only chance to meet the cast before they go to Hollywood!

T-Rex Sue Remains at the Florida Museum of Natural History, Through September 13th!

Have you taken a drive up to the Florida Museum of Natural History to visit the traveling exhibit of “A T-Rex Named Sue”?  Sue is the most famous T. rex of all.  At 42 feet long and 13 feet tall at the hips, her skeleton inspires as much awe today as she did 67 million years ago.  In the featured exhibit “A T-Rex Named Sue,” explore how this remarkable creature interacted with its world and what we can learn from studying its bones. The exhibit features a fully articulated, life-size skeleton plus family-friendly interactives, climb into the dig pit to uncover fossils and learn about dinosaurs through touchable bone replicas and other hands-on activities.  Follow Sue’s sensational journey from the Cretaceous period and sedimentary rocks of South Dakota to the U.S. courts and finally the world.  Unless you plan to travel to the Field Museum in Chicago, don’t miss this opportunity to experience the largest, most complete and best-preserved Tyrannosaurus rex ever discovered!  (I have to add here, if you haven’t seen the documentary “Dinosaur 13”, you have to watch it before you go to the Sue exhibit.)

Elections of TBFC Officers

Let this Serve as official notice to TBFC members; Anyone who desires to run for the office of President, Vice President, Treasurer, or Secretary, must notify the Election Chairman (Joe Dumont) no later than October 2, 2015 via U.S. Mail at: TBFC, P.O. Box 280447, Tampa, FL 33682.

I look forward to seeing you all at the September meeting.  If you found any fossils over the summer, be sure to bring them in to show off!

Good Hunting!
Mike Searle