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TBFC Season 2023-2024 updates:
Next Club Meeting is Sept. 9, 2023 @ 7pm EDT in the USF Behavioral Science Room #103 (In-Person) with Luis Torres, Jr.!

Next Peace River Monthly Trip: Sept. 19, 2023 (Paid, Active Members only and water levels permitting) - Zolfo Springs Guage
Next CEMEX Center Hill Trip: Sept. 27, 2023 (Paid, Active Members only. Limit 20 People)
Next Brooksville Trip: Oct. 18, 2023 (Paid, Active Members only. Limit 20 People)
Check the Field Trips page or the Calendar for details!

President's Message

2023-2024 Season

TBFC Returns!

Welcome back fossil hunters, it’s that time of year again! The kids are back to school, the dog days of summer will hopefully come to an end soon, 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 as many field trip adventures as we can! Are you ready TBFC?

TBFC’s return from our summer break is an exciting time for us all. And we are all hopeful for a complete return to our normal activities. While we didn’t experience any COVID problems with the previous season, Hurricane Ian did cause us to change the Peace River Adventure into a Mini Adventure. A dangerous algae outbreak in the Peace River though, just two days prior to the Mini Adventure, caused a last minute canceling of that event. I’m very sorry for the last-minute notice on that cancellation. We literally found out about the dangerous conditions just the day before the event.

Short of any worldwide viruses, devastating hurricanes, or green slime outbreaks, all normal activities are being prepared for in our 2023-2024 season. I want to tell you that we appreciate all your support for TBFC during these past years with all the cancellations and last-minute adjustments we’ve had to make. Here we go...

Read the Chronicles each month (Members Only), check the calendar here on the TBFC website, and follow us on Facebook. Also, please be very cautious while venturing out into the rivers and creeks. There’s nothing in those rivers worth dying for.

Sad News

I am often tasked here with reporting to you the sad news of folks in our fossil community who have passed away. Over the summer two close friends of mine, and friends of many of you who have hunted in the Nebraska Badlands passed away. In May Mike Kesselring of High Plains Homestead fame died unexpectedly at his home in Harrison, Nebraska. Less than two months later Gerry Pettipiece lost her battle with heart disease in Chadron, NE. Both Mike and Gerry, in their own ways, were very important to paleontology in the Nebraska Panhandle region.

Good Hunting,
Mike Searle


Sept. 9, 2023
"Saber Toothed Cats, Assassins of the Ice Age" presented by
Luis Torres, Jr., University of Florida
7PM IN-PERSON CLUB MEETING at the USF Behavioral Science Room #103

Luis Torres is a born and raised South Florida native, who grew up to have a strong appreciation for the natural world, for both the present and the past. It was in this natural world that he discovered some chalky, fossilized remains of marine invertebrates from a past age. This discovery led him to pursue his curiosity and develop a love for all things paleontology, invertebrate or otherwise. Luis first attended Florida Atlantic University (FAU), where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in biology. This was followed by working as a docent at the Palm Beach Museum of Natural History and as a FAU Lab Technician for a few years while he worked toward a master’s degree in geological sciences which he finished in the Summer of 2022. Luis is currently working on earning a PhD in geological sciences at the University of Florida. His studies of invertebrate paleontology alongside the Florida Museum of Natural History are further developing his skills as both a scientist and science communicator.

Saber Toothed Cats, Assassins of the Ice Age - Among the most recognizable and renowned predators of the post-dinosaur era, saber-toothed cats are known not only for their long, dagger-like canine teeth, but for their brutal and unique hunting style that allowed them to dispatch large prey with an efficiency not seen in other felines. In Luis’ presentation we will talk about the many different species of saber-toothed cats, where they evolved, how they lived, and why we believe that their long, knife-like canines that allowed them to dominate for millions of years, may have led to their eventual downfall in the face of a rapidly changing world. Don’t miss TBFC’s season opener!

Tampa Bay Fossil Chronicles

Hopefully you’ve noticed that TBFC has stepped up its game with the newsletter each month. In addition to all of our regular contributors, we’ve added two new recurring articles this season. “In Touch with Inverts” by Rob Carlson was added in September. Recently added, “Paleo Analysis” by Steve Vicari. Each month Steve will be discussing interesting prehistoric fauna and how they relate to extant species.

Please check out all of the articles in each issue. Only TBFC members receive the Chronicles, we don’t post it online or on Facebook.

Be sure to renew your Fossil Permits!

Paleo Preserve Burnett's Wholesale Nursery
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