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TBFC Season 2023-2024 updates:
Next Club Meeting is March 2, 2024 @ 7pm EDT in the USF Behavioral Science Room #103 (In-Person)
FossilFest 2024 March 16 - 17
Next Peace River Monthly Trip: March 9, 2024 (Paid, Active Members only and water levels permitting) - Zolfo Springs Guage
Next Brooksville Trip: March 20, 2024 (Paid, Active Members only. Limit 20 People)
Next Bone Valley Farm Trip: Feb. 24, 2024 (Paid, Active Members only. Limit 20 People) - This trip is full!
Next CEMEX Center Hill Trip: Feb. 28, 2024 (Paid, Active Members only. Limit 20 People)
Peace River Adventure (Maybe) Apr. 27, 2024 (Anyone can participate - Doing this event depends on Peace River water levels)
Check the Field Trips page or the Calendar for details!

President's Message

2023-2024 Season

Tampa Bay Fossil Club

This is CRUNCH time. In the next 90 days TBFC has a lot to prepare for and a lot of hard work too. FossilFest 2024 is just weeks away and the Peace River Adventure (in some format) is just a short time after that. We’ll also squeeze in a few more TBFC meetings, add in some more field trips, and throw in a big season ending dinner in June. Are you ready TBFC!

Peace River Adventure (Maybe) - April 27, 2024 The Peace River Adventure had turned into one of TBFC’s most popular annual outings. Years ago, we worried if we’d get enough participation to make the event even worth the work. Turns out we ended up worrying if we could accommodate everyone who wanted to attend. Let me add here, that was before COVID, hurricanes and man-eating bacteria blooms. We haven’t held the full event since 2019. I’m including this info here because so many people have asked me if we will run the event in 2024, the worthless answer is, I just don’t know... When I checked the Peace River levels this morning, they were approaching 9 feet. Safe hunting conditions occur at 6 feet or less.

As Florida seems to be experiencing winter El Niño like rains, a decision to hold the Peace River Adventure (or a Mini Adventure) will have to wait until April. I’m hopeful, and we will do everything we can to get this event back online.

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.

FossilFest 2024: FossilFest 2024 runs March 16 - 17 (set up on March 15). The show is big, one of the biggest amateur run shows in the country. It takes a lot of volunteers to operate FossilFest and some folks have already started working on Fossilfest 2024.

FossilFest 2024

Please put FossilFest dates in your calendar and schedule your volunteer time as far in advance as you can. We need to know as soon as possible that we have the 100+ volunteers it takes to run the show. Please see the FossilFest volunteer ads and needs in this edition of the Chronicles.

What is FossilFest? Find more information here!

We have a busy few months ahead of us. I look forward to accomplishing all these events with your help.

Happy New Year & Good Hunting,,
Mike Searle

Missed a meeting or just want to watch it again? You can view our past meeting recordings or live streams in the playlist below (Also found in the About section):


Mar. 2, 2024
Stories from the Badlands!
Dr. Bruce MacFadden, Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology, Florida Museum of Natural History
7PM IN-PERSON CLUB MEETING at the USF Behavioral Science Room #103

Dr. Bruce MacFadden started his career in Flori- da, joining the University of Florida faculty in 1977. Dr. Bruce is the author of several books and more than 200 peer-reviewed professional articles. He has been a principal investigator on more than 50 external grants, mostly from the National Science Foundation, totaling more than $35 million. A vertebrate paleontologist by training (Cornell and Columbia), specializing in fossil mammals, he has been the President of both the Paleontological Society and Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. Dr. Bruce teaches courses on vertebrate paleontology and broader impacts of science on society and has been the major professor of two dozen UF graduate students. Dr. Bruce has been a friend to the amateur paleontology community and has made dozens of trips from Gainesville to Tampa over the 47 years of his time in Florida paleontology.

Each year the Florida Museum of Natural History takes students and teachers to learn about and hunt Oligocene fossils in the Badlands of Nebraska. It’s quite the trip and Dr. Bruce has participated i n these adventures for many years. We look forward to hearing his stories from the Badlands.

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 FossilFest 2024
TBFC Events Calendar TBFC Meeting Location and Info FossilFest Flyer Download Peace River Adventure Flyer Download