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Next Virtual Meeting is on Saturday May 1 with Dr. Bob Sinibaldi: Pleistocene Survivors! Details below!

Next Monthly Peace River Trip is scheduled for May 22, 2021 - Check the Field Trips page or the Calendar for details!

President's Message

For the first time in almost exactly a year, TBFC was able to safely meet in person for a large event. Nothing on the scale of FossilFest, but the outdoor SWAP meet was able to put a hundred or so fossil enthusiasts together on a decent spring day (with no rain). We didn’t get the crowds I was hoping for, but it was a small step in the right direction. The vendors in attendance all said they had a good time and did well with sales, while the shoppers all seemed to have a good time and hung around with us for a good part of the day.

I want to thank all of the volunteers, vendors, and customers. I also want to thank everyone for kindly wearing masks. I tell you every year how amazingly fast the TBFC season goes by for me. This year is no exception. Next month will announce the end of the 2020-2021 season. It will certainly be one we won’t soon forget. I am hearing discussion from USF that the campus will reopen in the fall, but I have yet to receive confirmation that ad-hoc events, like TBFC meetings, will be allowed. Cross your fingers!

Peace River “MINI” Adventure (CANCELED)
April 24, 2021 – Canceled

The Peace River Adventure, over the years, has become one of TBFC’s largest events. Including some of the Scout troops that join in we’ve had nearly 300 fossil hunters in attendance for the weekend long expedition. The Adventure’s Saturday BBQ dinner has served upwards of 150 guests. We just can’t do that big of an event or offer that kind of food service quite yet.

TBFC’s plan is to hold the Peace River Adventure on a slightly smaller scale. The goal is to offer a weekend camping and fossil hunting trip to our members, while still being responsible with the virus. We came up with the Peace River “Mini” Adventure. TBFC will hold the event exclusively at Thousand Trails Campgrounds in Wauchula. As some of you know, fossil hunting at Thousand Trails has been closed to TBFC during recent Peace River Adventures. Rules at Thousand Trails require that you be an overnight guest in order to hunt fossils from their property. If you’re interested in this trip, make reservations now at Thousand Trails. You will only have access to the Peace River “Mini” Adventure if you are an overnight guest at the campgrounds.

Fred Hendershot and crew will be on hand to guide new hunters or anyone unfamiliar with the area. Meet Fred at the river’s edge in Thousand Trails at 9AM. The river is easily accessible. Our hope is that this Peace River “Mini” Adventure will be a wonderful family outing. It is also one of TBFC’s only fieldtrips when we invite non-members to join in on the hunt. This is your opportunity to introduce friends and family to TBFC and Florida’s prehistoric past. The river is typically at its shallowest level and accessible by hunters of all ages (when Mother Nature cooperates). As we will not be printing shirts or serving dinner, there is no need to register for this event. Simply make your reservation at Thousand Trails Campgrounds. I fully expect there will still be the evening campfires, s’mores and campfire-pies that have become a Peace River Adventure tradition. Simply make your reservation at Thousand Trails Campgrounds.

Thousand Trails Campgrounds is located at 2555 HWY 17 S., Wauchula, FL 33873. The telephone number is (863) 735-8888.

If you’re too busy to go fossil hunting, you’re just too busy!

Peace River Monthly Trips

Fred Hendershot will be running our monthly Peace River day trips, water levels and weather allowing. But don’t wait for him, get out there on your own. Join our Facebook page to connect with other fossil hunters. Organize your own group hunt or canoe trip. Meet at a boat ramp and walk in. I promise you that great fossils await, you just have to get out there and find them. Be safe, social distance, and take care of each other out there. Fossil hunting season is officially open in Florida! Be sure to renew your permits! Check the Field Trips page for updates and cancellations!

Good and safe hunting to you!

Mike Searle


May 1, 2021
Guest Speaker Dr. Bob Sinibaldi: Pleistocene Survivors!


When most of us think of the Ice Age, we think of glaciers, Wooly Mammoths, Saber Cats, and Dire Wolves. The hard core fossil hounds might think of Glyptodonts, Ground Sloths, and Giant Armadillos. But often overlooked are the stories of the White-Tailed Deer, the Virginia Opossum, or the American Black Bear. These along with many other common critters in Florida were the big winners of the terminal Ice Age mega-faunal extinction. Their stories are as equally, or maybe even more important, to recognize and study as they were the ones who survived the cataclysm 12,700 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age. Looking at who got through the last mass extinction event, and why they did, will be of great importance as we progress further through our current accelerated level of extinctions worldwide.

A TBFC favorite, Dr. Bob shares research from his upcoming book and discusses the animals that were fortunate enough to survive the last Ice Age. Few animals weighing more than a hundred pounds survived the event. Log on to this last virtual meeting of the season to find out why.

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. In this issue, “Paleo Analysis” by Steve Vicari debuts. 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.

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