GAINESVILLE, Florida (FR) – A man diving in the Wekiva river in North Central Florida spotted an eight foot mammoth tusk lodged in a swampy peat deposit. This discovery has led scientists to one of the largest dicoveries of fossils in Florida history.
After discovering what he terms “the mother lode,” Danny Masters and his father, George, helped paleontologists at the Florida Museum of Natural History safely remove the remains and bring them to the museum. Scientists study fossil remains in order to discover the early climate and plant life of a region.
David Webb, a paleontologist at the University of Florida, said the fossils date from the late Pleistocene Epoch and believes that the fossils are between “200,000 to 300,000” years old. Some of the animals found include the giant sloth, a species of arctic rodent, mastodon, bison and a short limbed South American llama.
“This is a major discovery because it is a very concentrated sample of Ice Age fossils – some of which are intact skeletons – that are extraordinarily well preserved,” Webb said.
Many of the fossils found in the Wekiva River are thought to have been arctic animals, and yet Florida was not known to have had the cold dry winters that are often associated with these animals. The fossil site is the southernmost point where one species of arctic rodent, Microtus pennsylvanicus, has ever been found.
For a more complete discussion of flood geology, we recommend The Genesis Flood, by John C. Whitcomb and Henry M. Morris, (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1961).