Fossil Hall

University of Florida Museum of Natural History
Awesome Dinosaur sounds thanks to:
All Fossil photos credit: Walkingfox


Why Fossils?

In researching the content for this web site, many

personal contacts made their way into my life.

One of these was Sheryl Todd whose web site

about Tapirs prompted this new Category.

Tapirs no longer exist in this country,

except in Zoos, but surprisingly,

Florida is the number one source

of Tapir Fossils in the world.

If you are wondering what all of this has to do

with the Endangered Wildlife of Florida, I will

make this very weak case for my departure.

Tapirs were once quite abundant here

and are now extinct.

If we are not extremely vigilant, there will be many

more plants and wildlife now alive in Florida, that

will soon join the Tapir and become extinct as well.

So, in honor of Sheryl and the Tapirs that she loves,

I will offer this humble page about the very First

Animals of Florida, who have now become our Fossils.



Florida's Fossils

To begin: what is a Fossil?

A Fossil is the remnant of a living thing that has died

and become encapsulated in or part of another life form.

Amber is a protective resin (a liquid within a plant) that often

captures other life forms on it way to becoming a Fossil.

A Fossil can also be formed under pressure,

like those that become imbedded in rock.

A Fossil can be either a plant or an animal.

Many of Florida's Fossils were Giant versions of

some of the species that are still here today:

Alligators, Armadillos, Bison, Camels, Crocodiles, Deer,

Elephants, Horses, Jaguars, Mammoths, Mastodons,

Rhinos, Saber Tooth Cats, Sharks, Sloths, Tapirs,

Tortoises and a flightless bird named Titanis Walleri.



Any journey into the world of Florida's Fossils should

begin at the Museum of Natural History in Gainesville.

This is a world class display of Fossils and a

wonderful place to take your children.

The University's Paleontologists and the impressive

collection that they have amassed in a very

short time have made the Museum

the pride of the "Gator Nation."

There are 500 specimens on display and as they say,

"90% of them are real and many were found

within 100 miles of the Museum."



Places to learn more:



When Mastodons Ruled South Florida


Florida Fossils


Florida Museum of Natural History

The Hall of Florida Fossils


Paleontology Portal

Florida's Paleontology



All About Tapirs


University of Florida

Ancient Sharks

Florida Fossils


University of South Florida

Fossils and the Natural History of Florida


USGS Publication Online:

Fossils, Rocks and Time



Walking with the Alligators

Write to Gator Woman

amberziek6 at



Keep Florida Wildlife Wild and Alive~


Web Design by: Gator-Woman


Educating Visitors About Florida's Wildlife Since September 11, 2008

Last edited January 12, 2023

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