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President's Message

Welcome Back TBFC!

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

First meeting of the season - September 6, 2014!
with University of South Florida geoscientist Dr. Brian Andres.
Two New Species of Pterosaur from Texas

Dr. Brian Andres has named two new species of pterosaurs from his home state of Texas in the journal Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, published online last fall (http://journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S1755691013000303).

The volume was in honor of Dr. Wann Langston, Jr., an American paleontologist who was considered the father of Texas pterosaurology (I hope that’s a word?) and was professor at the University of Texas (UT) at Austin from 1963 to his retirement in 1986. Langston, who died on April 7, 2013, first interested and then inspired Andres in pterosaurs as a freshman at UT.

One of the new species, Radiodactylus langstoni, was also named after Langston.  It is a smaller and more primitive relative of his Quetzalcoatlus, the largest known flying organism, with a wingspan of over 32 feet.  In his article titled Lone Star Pterosaurs, Andres and his coauthor Tim Myers from Southern Methodist University, named the new species.

Brian is the first vertebrate paleontologist at University of South Florida and the world's expert in pterosaur evolutionary relationships. He received undergraduate degrees in Biology and Geology at The University of Texas at Austin, a Masters of Biology at George Washington University, and Master’s and Doctorate degrees at Yale University.

See you all on September 6th.

Director Rachael Cronin Leaves Tampa

Rachael Cronin brags about being the youngest member of TBFC, ever.  Of course, she credits herself with time spent in the womb before she was even born when her mother was attending TBFC meetings.  Since then she’s grown into a beautiful and smart young women and has stayed active with TBFC for her entire life.  She joined TBFC’s Board of Directors shortly after her 18th birthday to become TBFC’s youngest Director.  Rachael became the second Cronin on our Board along with her Father, John.

Work and school kept Rachael from some of TBFC’s events over the last year or so, but her efforts paid off.  She has graduated from USF with a degree in Anthropology.  Good news; since graduating only months ago she’s landed a job.  Bad news; it’s in Dallas.

Rachael - you grew up in TBFC, so the club will always be a part of your life. We’ll miss you. Be safe, be smart, and keep hunting for fossils, even if they’re in Texas.

Important Dates!

Each month the Chronicles will have a calendar published to remind you of events through the season.  But there are a few dates that have been secured that folks have already started asking about.

  • FossilFest 2015 will be held March 20th, 21st, and 22nd.
  • The Peace River Adventure will be on the weekend of April 25th and 26th.
  • TBFC meetings will be held on September 6th, October 4th, and November 1st.
  • Ben Waller Memorial Scholarship Auction will be held on November 1st instead of in December.

Be sure to put these important dates on your calendars!


TBFC’s Facebook page is over 400 members strong.  It’s a great place to hook up with other fossil enthusiasts for everything from identifying your finds to finding new people to go hunting with.  There have been lots of informative paleo-articles and videos posted on the Facebook page that you might have missed if you’re not a member.  You can join by searching Tampa Bay Fossil Club on Facebook.

I look forward to spending TBFC’s 2014-2015 season with you!

Good Hunting,

Mike Searle