Fun in the Fossil Closet

I don’t know about you, but since the coronavirus pandemic has relegated me to my home, I have been going though my closets. In fact, after I was done with mine, I called my mother and asked her to go through her’s as well. She always wins when it comes to finding cool forgotten stuff tucked away in the closet!

Yesterday, she found the family fossil box. She left it out front of her house for me to pick up. It was very heavy and FOSSILS was neatly written atop. It was a timely find as I have been blogging about Lake Okeechobee’s ancient inland sea. Lake Okeechobee and beyond offer not just shelling but incredible fossil hunting as well.  

Yes, almost all of Florida was once an ancient sea, not just Lake Okeechobee…Florida in various forms has been in and out of the water many times…

Many of the fossils from my mom’s fossil closet are from Gainesville where she grew up and where my grandparents lived. My cat Okee was very interested in the fossils too! They must still smell! She was bating an ancient shark tooth around like it was a toy. She loved when I laid out the contents of the fossil closet. 

Hudson Seaway:

As you may have guessed, the saber-tooth cat skull above is not one from the Thurlow fossil closet! This is from the Clewiston Museum that has one of the state’s very best fossil collections containing all the fantastic megafauna that used to roam. In 2012, Ed and I went fossil hunting with the famous Mark Renz -in the area of the Peace River. So weird and incredible! Ed and I had a blast, Mark showed us some of his great finds when we were there, and Ed and I found some fossils too. Fossils are fun, and again kind of put things in, what should I say? Perspective…



6 thoughts on “Fun in the Fossil Closet

  1. In 1982 I was working in The Yemen Arab Republic for 6 months, now called Yemen when the YAR and Aden joined together. Had to do travel south to train an other Brigade, along the way we had to cross a pass at 11,500 feet, we stopped to have lunch, in walking around I found several stones that had sea ferns fossilized in them. The are now on display in my home. We need to learn from geological history. What is now land was in many cases under the oceans. Florida has been totally under water, it has also been 400 miles wide and as narrow as 50 miles both with in resent geological history (40,000 years). The Gulf of Mexico is in fact a huge pool of oil that is held down by salt domes and the sand. It also keep coming up when we least want it to come up. Some thoughts.

    1. Charles that is all so interesting! We must learn, yes and research to gain understanding. I bet your sea-fern fossils are beautiful. Such a treasure. Thank you so much for your knowledge sharing. All the best.

  2. Your stories are always entertaining and educational. And your folks seem like they provided a fun up bringing for you and your siblings. I’ve always like shoveling and sieveing to see what’s in the sand. Hope you and family doing well.

  3. Jacqui ~ This post inspires me to take a day trip to Clewiston (“Sweetest Little Town on Earth” – and we know why…). Thanks for this treasure trove of great finds that hold so many memories for you and Todd. When our son was in Boy Scouts, their best camping experience was at the Peace River; it brought the boys together like they hadn’t been prior. They were swapping their finds, having mud baths and learned about the fossils. My husband has been handcrafting fine writing instruments (fountain pens and high-end European roller ball) from wooly mammoth bone. Quite extraordinary to see.
    Great post as ever !!
    ♥ Debra Magrann

    1. Dear Debra what a great comment. Thank you so much. What memories indeed! I would love to see one of your husband’s fine writing instruments! What a great gift or novel “have.” Wonderful!

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