One of the really cool things about living in Florida is that there’s evidence of life long ago all around us. The first fossils I collected were shells from unpaved roads and driveways. I didn’t know it at the time, but the starkly white olives, cowries, conchs and coral heads I was gathering had been deposited eons ago when sea levels were much higher than they are today, submerging most of the state under tropical waters.
These salty baptisms happened repeatedly as sea levels rose and fell — at least four times. Thus you can find shells and shark teeth that are more than a million years old and others that are much younger, and you can also find remains of land animals. In areas where the original deposits have been disturbed (the bed of the Peace River is a good example), it’s not uncommon to see shark teeth and bison bones lying side by side.
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