Guests are always welcome to the meetings if you would like see what
we're all about. Meetings start at 7:00 pm and usually take place the
first Saturday of the month, unless there is a holiday, then it's on
the second Saturday of the month.
Located at the USF Behavioral Science Room #103.
After the speaker finishes we have a short break. Then we draw for door prizes and some raffle items as well. We finish with any final announcements.
Upcoming Meetings and Guest Speakers (2023-2024 season):
NOTE: All meetings are the first Saturday of the month at 7:00 pm unless otherwise clearly noted.
Sept. 9 - Luis Torres, Jr., University of Florida
Saber Toothed Cats, Assassins of the Ice Age
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!
Oct. 7 - Steven R. Manchester, Curator of Paleobotany, Florida Museum of Natural History
"Why not Walnuts (& their relatives over the past 50 million years)"
“Why not Walnuts?”, asks Dr. Steven Manchester. Dr. Steven will be revisiting the topic of his PhD dissertation on the fossil history of the walnut family from 40+ years ago. Many new fossils have been found since then and there are lots of new ways of gleaning information from them including by micro-CT scanning.
Dr, Steven’s discussion will address aspects of the history of the changing distribution patterns of walnuts, hickory nuts, and their close relatives over the past 50 million years or so. So, let’s go nuts, don’t miss the October meeting!
Nov. 4 - Annual Auction
Dec. 9 - Dr. Sarah Sheffield & Students, USF Geosciences
"Paleo Tech Talks"
Many of you already know about Tech Talks. If you don’t, they’re very popular technical talks covering a wide range of technical concepts and ideas. For TBFC, our December meeting will feature Paleo Tech Talks. Short presentations and Q&A sessions on different topics.
Ohav Harris: Echinoderm diversity through the Paleozoic Era.
Elizabeth Altier: Estimating the effect of latitude on echinoderm body plans.
Haley Vantoorenburg, Taylor Rand, Karla Rodriguez, Ohav Harris, and Elizabeth Altier: USF Geology and Paleontology Collections: fossil preservation and museum organization.
Jan. 6 - Chris DeLorey, Black Angus Dinosaurs
With a career in Natural History that spans 40 years, Chris Delory has had the opportunity to work in the fields of conservation education, paleontology, zoology, and public education. Starting his career at Busch Gardens working in the zoo, he then transitioned into classroom education, then back into the zoo field as Education Director at the Brevard Zoo. Throughout all the careers Chris always fostered a love of paleontology. Either fossil hunting with friends, volunteering at Dinosaur National Monument, running dinosaur expeditions out west for guests or playing the “Dr Dino” character at zoos around the US and in Europe, paleontology remains his favorite. In 2020 Chris decided to pursue his passion for paleontology full time, with Dino Lab in Rockledge, Florida and Dinosaur Expeditions to Montana and Wyoming.
Chris’ presentation for TBFC centers on the new Morrison Formation site in Hyattville, Wyoming on the Paint Rock Black Angus Ranch. Chris began working with the landowner in 2019 developing a partnership to explore an area of his ranch that had turned up a few bones and teeth over the years but nothing of significance. Once he had spent some time on the ground exploring the site and getting to know the geology, he realized the untapped potential. In the presentation Chris will walk through this amazing dinosaur site and show the full skeletons that are being found there and see how amateurs working with professionals have really made a difference to the discoveries.
Feb. 3 - Luis Torres, Jr., University of Florida
Ice Age Giants: Evolutionary History of Mammoths & Elephants
Among the most beloved animals alive today, elephants belong to a lineage no less charismatic. From mammoths to mastodons, and from deinotheres to gomphotheres, fossils of these elephant ancestors often represent the centerpiece in many different fossil collections, strictly due to their immense size. Members of this order were not always so grand in stature, however, for the earliest representatives were small enough to comfortably be kept as housepets. In Luis’ presentation, he will look into the evolutionary history of the order Proboscidea in order to explore the evolutionary presures behind the growth of this group from medium-sized, pig-like organisms, to the freakishly massive and diverse behemoths that dominated their ecosystems. Luis will also discuss their unfortunate downfall, and why sometimes being the largest may also make you the biggest target for extinction.
If you have any mammoth fossils you’d like to show off, bring them along to the February meeting!
Mar. 2 - Dr. Bruce MacFadden, Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology, Florida Museum of Natural History
Stories from the Badlands!
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.
Apr. 6 - TBD
May 4 - TBD
June 1 - End of Season Dinner, check the May 2024 issue of the Chronicles (TBFC Newsletter) for details.
View Our Past Virtual and In-Person Meetings
COVID-19 had forced us to adapt!
Since in-person meetings were not possible during that time, the club hosted Virtual Live Meetings on our YouTube channel.
Since COVID, we've tried to record in-person meetings and upload them to the site too. Unfortunately not all meetings are able to be recorded but please check the channel for any new content.
Subscribe to the channel to get notifications when we go live or a new video is uploaded!
All our club live streamed or recorded meetings will be saved and can be re-watched anytime! Not all meetings can be recorded for various reasons.
You can view past virtual or recorded meetings in the playlist below: