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Fossil mammals of Florida
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00102877/00001
 Material Information
Title: Fossil mammals of Florida
Physical Description: iv, 74 p. : illus., maps, diagrs. ; 24 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Olsen, Stanley John, 1919-2003
Publisher: Florida Geological Survey
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Fla.
Publication Date: 1959
Copyright Date: 1959
 Subjects
Subjects / Keywords: Paleontology -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Mammals, Fossil   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
General Note: Florida Geological Survey special publication 6
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Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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The author dedicated the work to the public domain by waiving all of his or her rights to the work worldwide under copyright law and all related or neighboring legal rights he or she had in the work, to the extent allowable by law.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 32224300
lccn - a 60009015
System ID: UF00102877:00001

Table of Contents
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Full Text













HUME LIBRARY
Florida Agricultural
Experiment Station
Gainesville, Florida


'Ij ^ i












STATE OF FLORIDA
STATE BOARD OF CONSERVATION
Ernest Mitts, Director

FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
Robert 0. Vernon, Director







SPECIAL PUBLICATION NO. 6







FOSSIL MAMMALS OF FLORIDA







By
Stanley J. Olsen







Tallahassee, Florida
1959

































AGRI-
CULTURAL
LIBRARY








TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page
Introduction..................................... 1
Florida's oldest vertebrate ...................... 3
Fossilization and the study of fossils ............... 5
How fossils are form ed.......................... 5
Paleontology ................................ 13
Collecting and identification................... 16
The age of m am m als............................ 17
E o cene ........................................ 19
S Oligocene ...................................... 24
M iocene ................ ... ................ 27
Pliocene ....................................... 40
Pleistocene .................................... 56
Pleistocene or Recent .......................... 69



ILLUSTRATIONS

Plate
1 Why there are no dinosaurs in Florida ..... 6
II Common vertebrate fossils found in Florida 8
III Common vertebrate fossils found in Florida 10
IV Dating fossils by carbon 14 method ........ 14
V Eocene whale Basilosaurus or "Zeuglodon". 20
VI Miocene horse Parahippus and dog-like carni-
vore Tom arctus ......................... 30
VII Pliocene four-tusked mastodon Serridentinus
and aquatic rhinoceros Teleoceras......... 38
VIII Pleistocene mammoth ........... ......... 46
IX Pleistocene mastodon ................... 48
X Florida saber-tooth tiger and Pleistocene
horses ................................... .. 50
XI Giant sloth Megatherium and armadillo
Glyptodon ............................... 52
XII Pleistocene camel Tanupolama and wolf
A enocyon ............................... .. 54
XIII Reintroduction of the horse into North America
by the Spaniards ......................... 58
XIV Pleistocene Vero man and cave bear Arctodus 60








Text figure


1 Geologic periods.......................... 4
2 African big game herd, similar to herds of
animals occurring in Florida during the
Pleistocene ............................. 18
3 Map of Eocene localities................... 22
4 Age correlation chart of Florida Eocene with
that of North American provincial stages ... 23
5 Map of Oligocene locality ................ 25
6 Map of Miocene localities ................. 26
7 Age correlation chart of Florida Miocene with
that of North American provincial stages ... 34
8 Map of Pliocene localities ......... ....... 37
9 Phosphate mining operations using 25-yard
dragline bucket and hydraulic sump pit gun. 41
10 Age correlation chart of Florida Pliocene with
that of North American provincial stages ... 42
11 Map of better known Pleistocene localities. 45
12 Age correlation chart of Florida Pleistocene
withthat of North American provincial stages 64
13 Aqua lung prospecting and collecting ....... 71











FOSSIL MAMMALS OF FLORIDA


By
Stanley J. Olsen


INTRODUCTION

In 1928 Dr. G. G. Simpson's account of "The Extinct
Land Mammals of Florida" was published as a part of the
Twentieth Annual Report of the Florida Geological Survey.
This report has proven to be one of the most popular and
widely circulated of all the publications issued by the Florida
Geological Survey. Due to the tremendous demand, over the
past three decades, this report has gone out of print. How-
ever, recent requests and inquiries pertaining to this type
of account have indicated that a publication similar to Simp-
son's is now required to fill this growing need for information
concerning Florida's first inhabitants.

To simply reprint Simpson's excellent original work
would not be enough as many new localities and their verte-
brate forms have been discovered and described subsequent
to his research and these must be included if an up-to-date
account is to be compiled. Several of Florida's classic
vertebrate localities (i. e. Thomas Farm Miocene quarry
and Itchtucknee River Pleistocene deposit) have been discov-
ered and recorded in detail during the time that has elapsed
since the Twentieth Annual Report was first circulated.

In order that this may be regarded as a wholly new
work, all of the illustrations have been designed and executed
for this paper in original form. These excellent and accu-
rately detailed drawings are the productions of Andrew Jan-
son, Scientific Artist for the Florida Geological Survey, and
in some cases situations for these drawings were taken from
the published illustrations of Charles Knight and Robert B.








FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


Horsefall, artists whose works need no further comment.
Full credit for the original layouts is here acknowledged to
these two master artists of North America's past prehistoric
life. The detailed faunal lists are due to the careful work of
Clayton Ray of Harvard University' s Museum of Comparative
Zoology.

To give a complete bibliography or to refer to all
publications that give detailed citations of Florida fossils is
not the purpose of this account. Those readers who require
material of this nature are referred to the more complete
bibliography contained in Florida Geological Survey Special
Publication No. 3, "A List, Bibliography and Index of the
Fossil Vertebrates of Florida. "

The occurrences of fossil vertebrates in Florida are
so numerous and scattered that it has never been possible
for one worker to study or even examine all of the known
materials. Under these circumstances, the published identi-
fications are undoubtedly less comparable than if they were
all made by one student; however, they have been accepted
(with some changes in nomenclature) except where personal
knowledge or unpublished notes has permitted a few correc-
tions. The classification used by Simpson' is generally
accepted by students of past mammalian life and has been the
basis for the classification used throughout this summary.
I also wish to acknowledge and give credit to Dr. G. G.
Simpson for those portions of his writings that are used in this
report.

The great difficulty in the deciphering of these faunas
is inherent in the geologic conditions which prevail in Florida.
None of the fully exposed sections as seen in the western
United States, where the faunal sequence is frequently so
clearly displayed, occur in the low-lying peninsular State.
The fossils have usually been found in mining, dredging,
realigning roadcuts or other operations which disturb the


1Simpson, G. G. 1945, The Principles of Classifica-
tion and a Classification of Mammals: Am. Mus. Nat. History
Bull., v. 85, p. 1-350.







SPECIAL PUBLICATION NO. 6


original deposit and usually damage any articulated animal
remains that they may contain. Field records, particularly
those relating to stratigraphy, were usually quite inexact or
nonexistent in the earlier days of collecting so that some
locality records have not been carried over from earlier
publications which cite localities and faunas falling into this
category. Many of the fossils were collected from stream
deposits which were from eroded beds of several different
ages and these mingled remains were redeposited into a single
bed from which the collections were takenand in a few cases
several different age determinations were given to the same
strata, depending on which fauna was being interpreted.
Luckily, there are good test faunas now known and these have
been collected from areas where they occur under conditions
and in such a way as to afford reasonable assurance that they
were actually contemporaneous and lived in the same region.
Faunas occurring or collected under conditions which could
readily give rise to mixture can then be checked by compar-
ison of their species with those of the test faunas.

It would be nearly impossible to give all of the localities
in which vertebrate remains occur, particularly those of the
Pleistocene, so that the maps referring to localities of differ-
ent ages list only the better known areas and particularly those
from which more than just an isolated specimen has been
collected.


FLORIDA'S OLDEST VERTEBRATE

Although this contribution is primarily concerned with
Florida's past mammal life, enough interest has been shown
in regard to the occurrence of dinosaurs in Florida towarrant
an explanation of why their remains are not present in the
Sunshine State.

Vertebrate remains are known to have existed on the
earth as far back as the Ordovician period. However, only
the Tertiary, or Age of Mammals, is represented in the
surface outcrops that occur within the boundaries of the State
(text fig. 1). Dinosaur bones occur in sediments as old as
the Triassic period, but these interesting reptiles became
extinctat the close of the Cretaceous, some 65 millionyears







FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


I PERIOD VERTEBRATE BEGINNINGS
B N


RECENT
PLEISTOCENE
MILLION YEARS AGO
PLIOCENE
7 MILLION YEARS AGO
MIOCENE
20MILLION YEARS AGO
OLIGOCENE
35 MILLION YEARS AGO
EOCENE
60 MILLION YEARS AG(
PALEOCENE
80 MILLION YEARS AGO



CRETACEOUS
120 MILLION YEARS AG(



JURASSIC
155MILLION YEARS AGO


TRIASSIC "
190MILLION YEARSAGO : co

PERMIAN
215MILLION YEARS AGO uJ
PENNSYLVANIAN <
250 MILLION .i
YEARS AGO <
MISSISSIPPIAN 8

DEVONIAN o, [
O 350MILLION YEARS AGO __


SILURIAN
390 MILLION YEARS AGO

ORDOVICIAN
480 MILLION YEARS AGO



CAMBRIAN
550 MILLION YEARS AGO


ONLY THESE BEDS
OCCUR AS SURFACE
FORMATIONS IN
FLORIDA


NO VERTEBRATES KNOWN FROM
DEPOSITS OLDER THAN THESE.


Text figure 1. Geologic periods.







SPECIAL PUBLICATION NO. 6


before the Tertiary deposits were being formed. In order
to come in contact with beds of an age that might produce
dinosaur bones, it is necessary in Florida to drill down
through the earth's crust to a depth of approximately 9,000
feet (pl. I). The closest surface outcrop to Florida, of
Cretaceous age, from which dinosaurs have been recovered,
is from near Selma, Alabama, and Tupelo, Mississippi. This
area is about 100 air miles from the North Florida border.

Florida's oldest vertebrate was recovered during the
summer of 1955 by the Amerada Petroleum Corporation,
during the course of drilling operations near Lake Okee-
chobee. A well core, containing a partial skeleton of an
aquatic turtle was brought up from a depth of 9,210 feet from
the Glen Rose formation of the early Cretaceous. The explo-
ration hole just happened to be in a position to penetrate the
spot in which the remains of a fossil turtle were embedded.
It is possible, but not very probable, that dinosaur remains,
teeth or partial vertebrae, could be recovered from Creta-
ceous beds in Florida under similar conditions.


FOSSILIZATION AND THE STUDY OF FOSSILS

How Fossils Are Formed

In very simple words, "A fossil is anything of organic
origin which has been preserved in the earth's crust by
natural causes. (Organisms which have been buried in the
earth during historic times are usually not included in this
category.) Some strata, as coal or limestone, are made up
wholly of fossils, but are popularly termed "rocks" rather
than fossils. Fossils are found in various states of preser-
vation, from those such as the Mammoth of Siberia, which
retains most of the original flesh, skin, hair and bones, to
mere tracks which retain no part of the animal itself. Some
fossils have been turned to stone, or petrified; many others
are preserved without any change other than the loss of soft
tissues. Except under the most unusual conditions, as in
the natural cold storage of the far north, or preservation in
amber (fossil gum), the soft tissues decay leaving only the
bones, teeth and hard parts behind to fossilize.




















FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


Plate I. Why there are no dinosaurs in Florida.







--- ---Y THERE ARE NO DINOSAURS
CLOSEST SURFACE FORMATION To FOUND IN FLOOR I DA
FLORIDA IN WHICH DINOSAUR-. i,>
BONES HAVE BEEN FOUND T(GNERALIZED DIACRMATIC SECTION)

EORGIA


,Numerous dinosaur
skeletonshave been I
recovered from he ,
western Unid Sfa'es '
particularly in Monfana. .
Wyominq and Utah


~-9


F LO R A GEOLO ICA L SURVEY
0 LS E N 6' J AN $ O N
F EB E 5 7


j IP


/ Larqe vertebrate remains which are
/" frequently sent to the Florida
' Geological Survey as "dinosaur "bones



S7There is
WHALE MASTODON BASILOSAURUS. dinosa
pRecent Plaef.i ocCef Eocene


uppef tUilll
I Cr eac eous

000. o'depth
a remote possibl/ty tha-t -
ur remains could be recovered
in a well core


C)











0
c0
t0






2;"


2;J
0 .




















FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


Plate II. Common vertebrate fossils found in Florida.











BISON


\ .
'I J


TAIL SPINE





PAVEMENT TOOTH
(in ferior view)





DENTAL PLATE


PAVEMENT TEETH
palatall view)


MASTODON








LOWER TAPIR UPPER


9 2Ao 2 so mm

Vo 1/ 2___ inches


RHINOCEROS
20/o,


OCCLUSAL SURFACES OF
UPPER & LOWER MOLARS


RAY




















FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


Plate III. Common vertebrate fossils found in Florida.














Wotidanus


SHARK




Ga


Oxyrhina tie


leocerdo








.miprisis


Basi/osaurus
WHALE


'Carcharodon
SHARK


ARMADILLO





Chlamytherium Boreostracon

DERMAL SCUTES



Dasypus






Chlamy'herium
TOOTH


SIRENIAN RIB
,/ / Erroneously called "Manafee"


A4lliqac
SCUTE!







FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


Most of the remains of fossil animals, which are found
in Florida, are petrified. That is to say, the structure of
original bones or teeth have been completely replaced by a
mineral substance, commonly silica. This mineral replace-
ment or substitutionhas been effected molecule by molecule,
over a great period of time, usually by mineral matter that
is carried in solution by the waters covering the entombed
animal. Only the smallest percentage of all the animals that
die are ever fossilized (pl. II, III). Ideal conditions must
exist for these animals to be preserved or mineralizedas we
find them today. The body must be covered with silt or sand
almost immediately upon dying so that rapid decay or scatter-
ing by predatory animals or the elements will not destroy the
remains before they begin their fossilization. Percolating
waters, carrying themineral matter plus heat and pressure
of the overlying sediments over a long span of time, will then
do their work to preserve these animals in the same skeletal
form that they exhibited when they were first covered by the
flood-borne silts.

The important thing to remember is that fossils are
forms of life. They are not just dry bones but represent
animals that ate, drank, fought, and reproduced much in the
same manner as similar animals are doing today. By the
form of the teethandbones these remains can be interpreted,
analyzed and compared with animals that are familiar to all
of us as inhabitants of the present day world. A person who
studies and interprets the remains of animals of the past is
called a paleontologist. In order that he may do an accurate
and thorough job, the paleontologist must possess a working
knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and the ecology of living
animals, as well as an understanding of the geology of the
area in which he is working. Much of the interpretation of
fossil remains is gained by a study of the teeth. This is due
in part to the fact that these structures are dense and hard
and are more likely to be preserved thanare the more spongy
parts of the ribs, vertebrae and long bones of the skeleton.
Also, the teeth of an animal are adapted to the diet of the
animal so that a true herbivore or "plant eater" is rarely
misidentified for a carnivore or "meat eater" when such an
identification is based on the dentition. It is not true that an
entire animal can be reconstructed from a single bone. It
is true that a pretty fair knowledge of an animal's form, and







SPECIAL PUBLICATION NO. 6


hence his habits, can be gained from very little in the way
of actual remains, but almost never is an animal's skeleton
restored for museum exhibition unless the skeletal remains
of the animal are well represented. Usually when an individual
animal has the missing parts of its skeleton restored in plas-
ter, the measurements and form of these restored parts were
taken from another individual in which these bones were
completely known.

The age of the various strata, in which animal remains
are found, can be interpreted from evidence based on the
rate at which radioactive minerals undergo chemical changes
that can be detected and measured as to the amount of change
that has taken place since these minerals became a part of
the strata which is being dated (pl. 4).


Paleontology

Why devote time, energy and money to a science that
is as far removed from our everyday world as is the study
of fossils? In these days of great world-shaking events, why
concern ourselves with the remains of animals of another
age? These are questions commonly asked a paleontologist.
In our modern world of economic problems and threats of
atomic war, the study of fossils seems distantly removed
from the realities of everyday life, and it is true that much
of paleontology has little bearing on direct economy. Paleon-
tology is a cultural science, one of the few "pure" fields of
science today which is not primarily concerned with an eco-
nomic return. Man does not read the newspaper or history
texts, or visit a museum of art or a national park, for eco-
nomic gain. Emerson has said, "Man loves to wonder, and
that is the seed of his science. We have arisen to the heights
of our mental development, and proportionally to our status
in this world, through the human characteristic of wanting to
know something about everything. We wish to know something
of the past, partly for pure pleasure, and partly for an
increased understanding of life today as based on life as it
existed in the past.

The study of microscopic fossils has led to an interpre-
tation of the layers of the earth's crust that is of the most



















FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


Plate IV. Dating fossils by carbon 14 method.







HOW OLD ?
DATING FOSSILS CARBON-14 METHOD


All plants, as they absorb carbon dioxide
from the air, take in with it minute
quantities of a radioactive form of
carbon known to scientists as Carbon-14.
Since all animals depend directly
or indirectly on plants for their food,
it follows that every living thing
contains Carbon-14. But when an
organism,whether animal or vegetable,
dies, it normally takes in no further
carbon. Instead, its radioactive carbon
begins to decay.
In dead organisms the proportion of
Carbon-14 decreases at a fixed rate
which does not vary under any known-,
physical conditions. After 5,568years,
half the Carbon-14 content is lost; in
the next 5,568 years half the remain-
der disappears, and so on.


|Jn Ahis FIRST faqte A.
V -Vj NITROGEN %
U M in fhe atmosphere
'%V^S is beinq constantly
bombarded by -
COSMIC RADIATION
producing Carbon-14which ELEc
SLOWLY DE4K'A r
as shown in he Z fdstaqe.
beinq emitted is de- 7
tected bytheGeiqer
coun+esr


( ) G All organic matter,
livingnq or once- living, 0
Sl, qives off beta particles:
d I -b MORE WIGGLY ELECTRONS--
-but +he, Ionqar such
m matter has been dead
=the, .s I o.U.Le.r the
S2) process becomes. 0
MORE LESS


By comparing the amount left in any
dead organic matter with the amount
in living matter, scientists can estimate
when the organism died.
Samples are first burned to form carbon-
dioxide gas. In one method, the gas,
after further chemical treatment, is
then treated with magnesium to pro-
duce pure carbon. Finally the carbon,
in the form of a paste, is fed to a Geiger
counter. The older the sample is,the
less Carbon-14 it contains and the
slower is the pulse of the Geiger
counter. Carbon-14 content in material
over 50 thousand years is too small
to measure.
Wood, bone, horn and shell have been
used in dating.







FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


vital economic importance to the petroleum industry. Without
the help of these minute organisms, or index fossils, the
bulk of oil prospecting would revert to "blind guessing" rather
than to the well organized interpretation of the geologic struc -
tures as we know it today. In some cases, vertebrate and
plant fossils can be used for guides or index fossils and give
us a clue to the age of the sediments that contain them. If,
for example, a formation were found in which the remains
of a flowering plant were preserved, this formationwould not
be older than the Cretaceous as these plants have their
beginnings in the Cretaceous. If, in these same beds iden-
tifiable dinosaur bones, however scrappy, were found the
sediments could not be younger than Cretaceous as the dino-
saurs had died out by the end of this period. Likewise, if
beds are known to contain the remains of the early dawn horse
"Eohippus," these beds can be dated, with complete confi-
dence, as Eocene, as the remains of this wellknownmammal
are found only in deposits of Eocene age.


Collecting and Identification

Hardly a roadcut or realignment of a ditch is made in
Florida without some fossil being turned up. Many of the
fossils are common enough and well known, but many more
need identification by a qualified and experienced person
in order that a specimen of scientific importance may not be
lost or set aside as a "curio" to gather dust in a forgotten
corner of some private dwelling. Samples of fossils will be
gladly received by the Florida Geological Survey and reported
upon. It is most important that all material collected, if it
is to have any scientific importance, should have accurate
locality data accompanying it so that adequate comparisons
with faunas of a similar age can be undertaken. Attention to
inquiries and general correspondence is an important part of
the duties of the paleontologist, and affords a means through
which the Survey may, in many ways, be of service to the
citizens of the State.

The State Legislative Act of the General Assembly of
1907 (Chapter 5681, Section 4) empowered and directed the
Florida Geological Survey to collect and display Florida's







SPECIAL PUBLICATION NO. 6


fossil plant and animal remains. To fulfill this objective,
the Survey continues to enrich its collections with material
secured by Survey collection and by gifts from its friends.
To adequately display and care for these treasures, a suitable
building is needed and it is hoped that this need will be fulfilled
in the near future.

It cannot be stressed too strongly that anyone contem-
plating collecting fossils within the State should first secure
permission from the owners of the land on which anypros-
pecting is to be done. The days of unchallenged roaming are
at an endand in most cases permission for collectingwill be
granted by the owners if the courtesy of requesting this
permission is extended to them.

Although most quarries are fenced and posted, there
is the personal danger of entering, without permission, an
area in which blasting is going on. Abandoned water-filled
quarry holes offer a hazard to any small children or non-
swimmers who maybe in a party engaged in prospecting areas
of this sort and adequate precautions should be taken to avoid
preventable accidents.


THE AGE OF MAMMALS

Although mammals had their beginning during the Age
of Reptiles they were insignificant, rat-sized creatures,
hardly noticeable among the large ruling reptiles that domi-
nated the earth 150 million years ago. These beady-eyed
ancestors of all mammals to follow mayhave contributed in
a small way to the downfall of the dinosaurs by robbing their
nests and destroying the eggs. Insignificant as hewas in the
Cretaceous, the mammal was already better adapted for an
active life on this planet thanwas his neighbor, the dinosaur.
The mammal, due to his physiological mechanism, could
maintain a nearly constant body temperature and thereby
remain active regardless of the weather conditions not so
with the reptile. The activity of this cold blooded animal is
regulated by the outside weather conditions and temperature.
If the weather is too cold, he is sluggish or even completely
inactive; if the weather is too hot, he simulates a form of


























Cn












Text figure 2. African big game herd, similar to herds of animals occurring in Florida
during the Pleistocene.








SPECIAL PUBLICATION NO. 6


sunstroke and may even die. The mammal in all respects
was capable of a faster, more continuous mode of existence.

This changeover of mammalian dominance did not take
place at once, butwas a gradual change over millions of years
and by Eocene times he was here to stay. By Miocene times,
the many groups of mammals had adapted themselves to
nearly all environments from an existence in water to the
airborne travel of the bats. During the Pleistocene much of
Florida must have represented the great Serengetti Game
Plains of East Africa during the late 1800's, with vast herds
of browsing and grazing herbivores congregating around
waterholes to be preyed upon by the many carnivores that
existed at that time (text fig. 2).

With all of us familiar with the many mammals that
exist today (including man), it is difficult to visualize a world
devoid of these animals as it was in the early days of the Age
of Reptiles. Probably the most apparent difference would
have been the quietness of this "silent world" lacking the
mammal and bird noises which we take for granted, unless
these early reptiles were capable of making bellowing sounds
similar to those of the Florida alligator.


Eocene

The Ocala limestone has preserved the remains of the
extinct whalelike form of Basilosaurus or Zeuglodon in sev-
eral widely scattered localities throughout the northern por-
tion of the State. This marine mammal attained a length of
over 40 feet and had a body form that was well adapted to
speed and maneuverability in water (pl. V). The true whales
are found in the later marine deposits and their remains are
common finds in the Pleistocene deposits of the southern
peninsula that are worked by draglines for their roadbed
material.

The vertebrae of Basilosaurus differ noticeably from
those of other large mammals in that they are proportionally
much longer when compared to the diameter of the centrum
which may exceed a measurement of eight inches (pl. I).




















FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


Plate V. Eocene whale Basilosaurus or "Zeuglodon. "








-i ..,",i W ..- .,?. -., .. ,.





"-~"
|r:^.- V.-'.--.. .t .: . . .. . . .



? . -- 2-, ^ .. .; *

S.i-., y'. -. O- .. -. -- ^ ^ ^




**^ -.,--- .-- .,.:._
~'


7-..


cn
Cl

h
.... i. .... >






'---
-'





FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


EOCENE L -

VERTEBRATE FOSSIL
LOCALITIES
/o/ <










-MARIANNA / -
2"MAO MAYO.


4-BUDA ?


Text figure 3. Map of Eocene localities.






SPECIAL PUBLICATION NO. 6


These vertebrae are usually a blue-black in color when found,
and stand out against the white or cream colored matrix of
the entombing Ocala limestone. The premolars and molars
are characteristically serrate-edged along the margin of the
cutting surface and are readily distinguished from the teeth
of the large Tertiary shark Carcharodon (pl. III). The inci-
sors and canines are simple, recurved, cone-shaped struc-
tures which have a single pointed root to secure them in the
socket or alveolus of the jaws.

Remains of this large mammal have been found in
various limestone quarries throughout the State and in parti-
cular in the Buda pit of The Williston Shell Rock Company
near Buda, Alachua County, and from a pit of the Dell Mine
near Mayo, Lafayette County. Remains are also known from
the quarry of the Suwannee Lime Rock Company near
Branford, Suwannee County (text fig. 3).


Text figure 4. Age correlation chart of Florida Eocene with
that of North American provincial stages.








FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


The Eocene beds of Florida are all of marine origin and
none of the interesting terrestrial or landmammals as found
in Wyoming and the adjacent areas have been reported as
occurring within the boundaries of Florida.


Eocene Faunal List


Cetacea: Whales and porpoises
Basilosauridae: Archaic whales
Basilosaurus: Harlan 1834 sp. indet.
Basilosaurus cetoides (Owen) 1845
Basilosauridae incertae sedis
Pontogeneus brachyspondylus (Muller) 1849



Oligocene

As with the beds of Eocene age, all of the Oligocene
deposits are of marine origin and are represented by the
cream colored Marianna limestone which outcrops mainly
in Jackson County (text fig. 4).


No mammals have been reported from the Oligocene
strata and only one or two teleost fish of the snapper family
have been collected and described (text fig. 5). However
this isolated locality is recorded here in the hope that addi-
tional prospecting in this area may turn up mammalian
remains.

Both the Eocene and Oligocene deposits of the western
United States have vast faunal assemblages of mammals
whose scientific descriptions fill many volumes. It is regret-
table that terrestrial deposits of these two periods are
unknown among Florida's surface outcrops and that important
comparisons cannot be made between eastern Eocene faunas
and those of the west as they are with the vertebrate fossils
of the Miocene, Pliocene and Pleistocene periods.






SPECIAL PUBLICATION NO. 6


,/ i 4
,-j ,'N ,?I

C f r /7 N' M

,- / '





IOLIGOCENE
VERTEBRATE FOSSIL l, -...
LOCALITY
1-MARIANNA (MARINE, FISH ONLY) 'o"
0 oo o...%.


Text figure 5. Map of Oligocene locality.






FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


<<-^ -





4

VERTEBRATE FOSSIL 7 '

iGRISCOM (LUNA) PLANTATION 4 /
2-QUINCY,FULLERS EARTH MINE,
FLORIDIN CO.
MIDWAY, FULLERS EARTH MINE
FULLERS EARTH CO.
4PIT No.2, FRANKLIN PHOSPHATE CO. '

5VERTALLAHASSEEEBR WATERWORKS -_'..
6-THOMAS FARM QUARRY
17-GRISCOM (LCLOUGHNA)PLANTATION L/'





8-POLK CO. PHOSPHATE PITS .L 9
* - go ,oo


Text figure 6. Map of Miocene localities








SPECIAL PUBLICATION NO. 6


Miocene

The Tertiary deposits of the western United States have
yielded a remarkably complete story of the history of land
mammals throughout the entire extent of the Age of Mammals.
Although the Pleistocene, the last phase of the Tertiary, is
well represented in the eastern United States and a few marine
deposits of Miocene age are known, only one early terrestrial
deposit of any consequence is present in the known sedimen-
tary rocks east of the MississippiRiver. The reason for this
lack of a fossil record, in this part of North America, is due
to the early Tertiary sediments being dominantly marine in
nature and hence containing no land mammals. The one
exception to this barren record lies in north central Florida.
This deposit, the richest bone bed of Miocene age in eastern
North America, is located in Gilchrist County in a most
unpromising-appearing setting of low, sandy flatwoods having
none of the "usual" surface outcrops visible with which verte-
brate fossils are associated. The circumstances that led to
the discovery, purchase and development of the now famous
Thomas Farm quarry are worthy of relating here in some
detail.

In September 1931, Mr. J. Clarence Simpson, of the
Florida Geological Survey, was investigating a reported
Indian graveyard that had turned up while plowing through a
depression in an abandoned field of the old Raeford Thomas
Farm located between Bell and Ft. White. Mr. Clarence
Simpson determined correctly that these bones were not of
human origin but represented, instead, the remains of the
small three-toed horse Parahippus andwere similar to those
obtained from the fuller's earth pit at Midway, Florida, in
Gadsden County. A small collection of fragments from those
that littered the surface of the shallow depression which
marked the original site, were sent back to the Geological
Survey office in Tallahassee. The Survey Director at that
time, Dr. Herman Gunter, forwarded these scraps to Dr.
G.G. Simpson at the American Museum of Natural History
in New York City. Dr. Simpson, a recognized authority on
fossil mammals, of course recognized the scientific impor-
tance of this find and urged that more material be collected
if possible.







FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


Dr. Gunter secured permission to excavate and several
more trips were made to the farm bypersonnel of the Florida
Geological Surveybetween 1931 and 1932. A published account
of the first material obtained at this dig was released by the
Florida Survey in 1932 (Simpson, G. G., Miocene Land
Mammals from Florida, Florida Geol. Survey Bull. 10,
58 p.).

In 1939, Dr. Thomas Barbour, Director of the Museum
of Comparative Zoology at Harvard College, made one of his
frequent trips to the Sunshine State to obtain fossils for the
Harvard Museum and stopped for a visit at the office of the
Florida Geological Survey. During the course of his stay in
Tallahassee, Barbour had occasion to examine the fossils
that had been obtained from the newly-opened deposits at the
Thomas Farm.

The result of this visit was a desire, on Barbour's
part, to purchase the forty acres of land that contained the
fossil quarry so that it would be protected for future scien-
tific excavations. Dr. Gunter located the owners, a loan
and trust company in Georgia, and undertook the initial nego-
tiations for the purchase of the desired land. The property
was purchased and deeded over to the present owner, the
University of Florida, with the verbal understanding that
Harvard University and the Florida Geological Survey would
also enjoy the privilege of collecting fossils from the Thomas
Farm quarry, for scientific study or display. The Florida
Geological Survey has received the cooperation of both uni-
versities in its endeavor to obtain a series of vertebrates
from this locality for the state collections that are housed
in the Survey's present quarters in the State capitol at Talla-
hassee.

The nature of this locality, as it appeared in Miocene
times, has not been solved to the satisfaction of all concerned.
Indications point to a partially filled sinkhole or to a cavern
or rock shelter having considerable depth, located perhaps
at the edge of a stream. That a cavern of some sort was
present is attested to by the numerous bat remains that are
found in the rubble of a boulder bar or breakdown of a long
collapsed cave roof. That this cavity was at times water fed
is indicated by the various amphibian, aquatic turtle and








SPECIAL PUBLICATION NO. 6


alligator remains that are present in the sediments. However,
no reliable or identifiable fish bones have turned up in the
nearly three decades of digging since the quarry was first
discovered. Another indication that this deposit was stream
fed at one time or another, while the animals were being
entombed, is substantiated by the waterworn scraps of bone
and by the evidence that no articulated or individually asso-
ciated skeletons have been found. Instead, it is not unusual
to find five or six horse skulls nesting together or half a
dozen or so femora, of the same side of the animals repre-
sented, lying inclose contact. Although quite a few complete
skeletons are known of the small horse Parahippus (pl. VI),
the different elements composing these complete skeletons
may represent several individuals rather than belonging to
one animal as is usually the case in most vertebrate fossil
quarries from which complete mammal skeletons are known.

Among the animals, represented in the known collec-
tions from this site, are the remains of the large bear-like
carnivore Amphicyon, which rivaled the Kodiak bear in bulk
and in having a similar battery ofpowerful teeth. Also pres-
ent are the smaller coyote-sized dogs Cynodesmus and
Tomarctus (pl. VI), as well as a badger Leptarctus and a
small skunk Miomustela. A few long-snouted camels known
as Floridatragulus as well as the small dik-dik sized artio-
dactyl Blastomeryx were also dwellers of the Thomas Farm
area in Miocene times. The remains of two different sized
hornless rhinoceros have occasionally turned up in the exca-
vations.

One of the interesting things concerning this Florida
locality, as compared with those of similar age found in the
western United States (text fig. 7), is the total lack of the
remains of either felids or Oreodonts. Both of these groups
of animals are well represented in similar quarries through-
out the western United States and the latter animals are so
numerous in some areas that certain layers that contain their
bones have been dubbed "Oreodon beds" by the paleontologists
that work these beds. No positive statements can be made,
based on our present knowledge of these forms, as to why
they would occur in great abundance in one area and be totally
absent in another.



















FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


Plate VI. Miocene horse Parahippus and dog-like carnivore
Tomarctus.






















rr '*i~.
,
/~.- ~*/








FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


The present limits of the excavation, that contain the
most productive collecting area, measures approximately 30
by 60 feet and reaches a depth of 15 feet below the surrounding
terrain. Test borings made by the Florida Geological Survey
indicate that the bone-bearing beds extend to a depth of about
30 feetbelow the present bottom of the pit andbecome barren
of bone about 100 feet out from thepresent center of opera-
tions.

This quarry has actively been worked by one party or
another from each of the three institutions concerned since
1941. Dr. A. S. Romer of Harvard University, and present
Director of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, has postu-
lated that the pit would not be completely excavated until
approximately 2000 man-years of labor had been expended.


It must be stressed that anyone contemplating visiting
the Thomas Farm quarrywill have to have written permission
from the head of the Biology Department of the University of
Florida. This precaution is to prevent uncontrolled wandering
over the bone deposit, whichwould destroy scientific material
that could not be replaced.


The Griscom Plantation, or Luna Plantation, as it is
generally known today, is located about 15 miles north of
Tallahassee in Leon County. This plantation is the site of an
early Miocene vertebrate locality thatwas accidently discov-
ered in 1916 during the course of digging a shaft for a water
well. This shaft, having a diameter of six or eight feet, was
dug to a depth of 50 feet before it had to be abandoned due to
encountering poisonous gases. The workmen had struck
bone-bearing layer, just before the pit was vacated, which
has produced the types of the Miocene horse Parahippus
leonensis and the dog-like Cynodesmus iamonensis. The well
was completed by the use of a mobile drill rig and the larger
hand dug opening was filled in around the well casing, no
additional bone fragments being collected. This bone -bearing
layer does not outcrop on the surface in the vicinity of the
plantation and, since the originalwell is now in the landscaped
area of the plantation headquarters, it is improbable in the








SPECIAL PUBLICATION NO. 6


foreseeable future that additional material will be collected
from this locality. All of the animals obtained from this well,
with the exception of the carnivore Temnocyon, are also
known from the Thomas Farm quarry. This last named form
has been recorded from a small bone-bearing pocket situated
in Pit No. 2 of the Franklin Phosphate Company's mine near
Newberry in Alachua County. This pit is now abandoned and
a good deal of the exposures are covered with redeposited
surface soil or vegetation so that the possibilities of getting
good additional material from this locality are pocr indeed.

As in the case of the Griscom Plantation, the digging
of a pump pit by the Tallahassee water works was responsible
for some very tantalizing fragments of the Miocene rhino-
ceros Aphelops and a camel Oxydactylus. These meager
scraps were collected in 1930 and here again, as in the
Griscom Plantation locality, the bone-bearing layer is no
longer available for further exploration.

The most recent locality of Miocene age to come to
light was exposed by a road cut through Colclough Hill, south
of Gainesville in Alachua County. This layer, judging by
the fauna, was laid down as a marine or brackish water
deposit. The animals from this layer have been identified as
the small Miocene horse Parahippus blackbergi, a squirrel-
like rodent and numerous shark and ray teeth. Although this
site will most surelynever be developed as a quarry, enough
material has been collected as surface scrap towarrant future
investigation, particularly after heavy rains.

Only two good Miocene localities have been reported
from the Florida panhandle. Both of these are located in
Gadsden County and were located in the fuller's earth mines
of this area. The first of these localities, at Quincy, pro-
duced Florida's first identifiable material of the Miocene
horse Merychippus. From the second locality, at Midway,
were recorded scraps of Parahippus and Oxydactylus as well
as Merychippus. Both of these sites are now in abandoned
water-filled pits. The surrounding country is covered by
brush so that little hope is held for any additional fossils being










FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


obtained from the original locations.

The fossil beds of Polk Countywillbe discussed in some
detail in the following section on the Pliocene beds of the Bone
Valley, but a note is in order in this section pointing out that
vertebrate remains, found only in the Miocene in other parts
of thewestern hemisphere, have beentaken up from the Bone
Valley deposits.

These "true" Miocene forms are the badger Leptarctus,
the tapir Tapiravus, and the cetacean Hoplocetus.


Text figure 7. Age correlation chart of Florida Miocene with
that of North American provincial stages.







SPECIAL PUBLICATION NO. 6


Miocene Faunal List

Chiroptera: Bats
Vespertilionidae: Little brown bats, big brown
bats, etc.
Suaptenos white Lawrence 1943
Miomyotis floridanus Lawrence 1943
Gen. et sp. indet.: Eptesicus-like
vespertilionid
Rodentia: Rodents
Mylagaulidae: Extinct family
Mesogaulus Riggs 1899, sp. nov.
Heteromyidae: Pocket mice, kangaroo rats
Proheteromys magnus A.E. Wood 1932
Proheteromys floridanus A.E. Wood 1932
Gen. et sp. indet.
Cricetidae: Native rats and mice (rice rats,
cotton rats, white-footed mice, etc.)
Gen. et. sp. indet.
Cetacea: Whales and porpoises
Physeteridae: Sperm whales
Kogiopsis floridana Kellogg 1929
Acrodelphidae: Long-beaked porpoises
Schizodelphis bobengi Case 1934
Schizodelphis depressus G.M. Allen 1921
Pomatodelphis inaequalis G.M. Allen 1921
Delphinidae: Dolphins, killer whales, blackfish,
etc.
Megalodelphis magnidens Kellogg 1944
Cetotheriidae: Whale-bone whales in part
?Isocetus Van Beneden 1880, sp. indet.
?Mesocetus Van Beneden 1880, sp. indet.
Carnivora: Carnivores
Canidae: Dogs, wolves, foxes, etc.
Cynodesmus iamonensis (Sellards) 1916
Tomarctus canavus (Simpson) 1932
Temnocyon Cope 1878, sp. indet.
Enhydrocyon spissidens(White) 1947
Amphicyon longiramus White 1942
Absonodaphoenus bathygenus Olsen 1958
?Aelurodon johnhenryi White 1947
Mustelidae: Badgers, skunks, weasels, otters,
etc.








FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


Oligobunis floridanus White 1947
?Miomustela Hall 1930, sp. indet.
Leptarctus ancipidens (White) 1941
Sirenia: Sea cows, manatees, and dugongs
Dugongidae: Dugongs
Hesperosiren crataegensis Simpson 1932
Perissodactyla: Odd-toed ungulates
Equidae: Horses
Anchitherium clarencei Simpson 1932
Parahippus blackbergi (Hay) 1924
Parahippus leonensis Sellards 1916
Merychippus westoni Simpson 1930
Rhinocerotidae: Rhinoceroses
Caenopus cf. platycephalus (Osborn and
Wortman) 1894
Gen. et. sp. nov., H.E. Wood (ms.): Large
rhinoceros
Diceratherium (Menoceras) Marsh 1875,
sp. nov., H.E. Wood (ms.): Small
rhinoceros
Diceratherium Marsh 1875 or Caenopus
Cope 1880, sp. indet.
Aphelops Cope 1873, sp. indet.
Artiodactyla: Even-toed ungulates
Entelodontidae: Extinct pig-like ungulates
Daeodon (Dinohyus) (Cope) 1879, sp. indet.
Tayassuidae: Peccaries
Desmathyus olseni (White) 1941
?Oreodontidae: Extinct family
?Camelidae: Camels, guanacos, and vicunas
Floridatragulus dolichanthereus White 1940
Nothokemas floridanus (Simpson) 1932
Camelid cf. Miolabis tenuis Matthew 1924
Protoceratidae: Extinct family
Synthetoceras (Prosynthetoceras) australis
(White) 1940
Cervidae: Deer
Blastomeryx (Parablastomeryx) floridanus
(White) 1940
Blastomeryx cf. marshi Lull 1920
Machaeromeryx gilchristensis White 1941
?Dromomeryx cf. americanus Douglass 1903





SPECIAL PUBLICATION NO. 6


3




S"- MULBERRY AREA
PLIOCENEI -

VERTEBRATE FOSSIL ------^ ,
LOCALITIES '" .
I MULBERRY AREA o ../ .
2-WILLISTON /o
3-HAILE


Text figure 8. Map of Pliocene localities.


-0.




















38 FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


























Plate VII. Pliocene four-tusked mastodon Serridentinus and
aquatic rhinoceros Teleoceras.







S06- .
.-.


'-i. W .




























v0



.. .. T'
."r

m. -.







FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


Pliocene

Perhaps no area in Florida has caused the concern, in
regard to dating the vertebrate fauna it contains, as has the
Bone Valley of Polk County. The term "Bone Valley" should
be used to define a geographic boundary, rather than a strati-
graphic unit, as beds ranging from upper Miocene through the
lower Pleistocene are known to occur in the "Bone Valley" as
defined by earlier workers. Thesebeds, in some cases, show
a lithologic change and are not clearly mapable units.

Terrestrial vertebrates, known elsewhere only from
the Pliocene have been recorded as occurring in the Bone
Valley beds of Polk County. These animals are the bear-
like carnivore Agriotherium, the huge sloth Megatherium
(also recorded into the Pleistocene), the horses Hipparion,
Nannipus and Neohipparion, the artiodactyls Megatylopus and
Hexamerys, the sirenian Felsinotherium, and the cetaceans
Kogiopsis and Balaenoptera. Animals that are present in the
Pliocene and into the Miocene in other fossil areas of North
America are the hyena-like Osteoborus, the proboscideans
Serridentinus (pl. VII), Rhynchotherium and Mammut (this
last named form continues into the Pleistocene), the rhinos
TeleocerasandAphelops (pl. VII), along with the artiodactyls
Prosthenops and Procamelus.

There has been considerable confusion and even altered
opinions among previous workers as to the age determinations
of these beds. Evaluation of this work by state and federal
agencies is now in progress and it is hoped that a solution
acceptable to most workers concernedwiththis problem, will
be forthcoming in the near future.

The vertebrate remains that were collected from the
Polk County phosphate pits, during the earlydays of mining,
were more complete than the scraps that are now recovered
from the sump pits surrounding the hydraulic guns. This
difference is due entirely to the method or mode of mining
used today as compared with that used several decades ago.
Originally, the hydraulic guns were placed in the quarries
and the phosphate matrixwas cut away to be processed. Thus,
when a specimen was uncovered by the jet of water, it was
possible to divert the stream to another area until the fossil







SPECIAL PUBLICATION NO. 6


remains could be collected. The mining method used today
consists of employing a huge dragline power shovel, having
a bucket with a 25-yard capacity, bite into the phosphate layer
from which the matrix is lifted and swung over a water-filled


Text figure 9. Phosphate mining operations using 25-yard
dragline bucket and hydraulic sump pit gun.






FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


sump pit and dumped. This material is then broken downby
a manually operated hydraulic gun (text fig. 10) and the re-
sulting mud is pumped through metal pipes to the washing
plant. Obviously, only themost resistant vertebrate remains
can withstand such treatment so that today's collectors,
working the Bone Valley beds must be content with teeth or
bone scraps rather than the more complete skulls and skele-
tons of yesterday's prospector. Here, again, it must be
emphasized that nearly all of the fossil-collecting areas in
Polk County are on private lands so that permission should
be obtained before venturing into any pit, abandoned or other-
wise.

The small community of Haile in Alachua County, has
been the scene of some collecting activity during the last few
years. Mr. J. Clarence Simpson, shortly before his death,
collected some Pliocene horse teeth and bone fragments along
with a few amphibianand reptile remains whose descriptions
have beenpublished in several technical papers, establishing
this pocket as Pliocene in age.


Text figure 10.


Age correlation chart of Florida Pliocene
with that of North American provincial
stages.








SPECIAL PUBLICATION NO. 6


One locality of Pliocene age from which a great quan-
tity of Pliocene vertebrates were recovered is in Levy
County, northeast of Williston. This quarry known as
Mixson's Bone Bed has not been worked in recent years but
the following forms were identified as coming from this site
during the initial stages of working this dig. The proboscidean
Serridentinus, and the rhinoceros Teleoceras (pl. VII), the
horse Hipparion and the Pliocene camel Procamelus. This
deposit is also on private land and permission must be granted
before any collecting can be done.

There are many redeposited surface finds, particularly
in the peninsular part of the State from which Plio-Pleistocene
forms have been collected, but as with any transitional mam-
mal not collected from a known horizon it is nearly impos sible
to be surewhether they are "true" Pliocene forms or "true"
Pleistocene forms.

Pliocene Faunal List


Cetacea: Whales and porpoises
Platanistidae: River dolphins
Goniodelphis hudsoni G. M. Allen 1941
Physeteridae: Sperm whales
?Hoplocetus Gervais 1848-1852
Balaenopteridae: Whale-bone whales in part
Balaenoptera floridana Kellogg 1944: Extinct
rorqual
Carnivora: Carnivores
Canidae: Dogs, wolves, foxes, etc.
Osteoborus crassapineatus Olsen 1956
Pliogula dudleyi White 1941
Ursidae: Bears
Agriotherium schneideri Sellards 1916
Mustelidae: Badgers, skunks, weasels, otters,
etc.
Leptarctus progressus Simpson 1930
Proboscidea: Elephants, mastodonts, etc.
Gomphotheriidae: Serrate-toothed mastodonts









FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


Serridentinus (Ocalientinus) floridanus
(Leidy) 1887
Serridentinus (Ocalientinus) floridanus leidii
(Frick) 1926
Serridentinus (Ocalientinus) bifoliatus
(Osborn) 1929
Serridentinus (Serbelodon) brewsterensis
Osborn 1926
Gomphotherium simplicidens (Osborn) 1923
Gomphotherium Burmeister 1837, sp. indet.
Rhynchotherium simpsoni Olsen 1957
Mammutidae: Mastodonts
Mammut sellardsi (Simpson) 1930
Sirenina: Sea cows, manatees, and dugongs
Dugongidae: Dugongs
Felsinotherium floridanum (Hay) 1922
Felsinotherium ossivallense Simpson 1932
Perissodactyla: Odd-toed ungulates
Equidae: Horses
Hipparion plicatile (Leidy) 1888
Neohipparion phosphorum Simpson 1930
Nannipus ingenuum (Leidy) 1886
Nannipus minor (Sellards) 1916
Tapiridae: Tapirs
?Tapiravus Marsh 1877, sp. indet.
Rhinocerotidae: Rhinoceroses
Aphelops longipes (Leidy) 1891
Teleoceras proterus (Leidy) 1886
Artiodactyla: Even-toed ungulates
Tayassuidae: Peccaries
Prosthennops elmorei White 1942
Camelidae: Camels, guanacos, and vicunas
?Procamelus minimus (Leidy) 1887
?Procamelus minor (Leidy) 1887
? Megathylopus major (Leidy) 1887
Antilocapridae: Pronghorned "antelopes"
Hexameryx elmorei White 1942
Hexameryx simpsoni White 1941





SPECIAL PUBLICATION NO. 6


PLEISTOCENE 12
VERTEBRATE FOSSIL 4
LOCALITIES 9V -',4
1.SEMINOLE FIELD /
2.VERO N l
3-MELBOURNE 5
4-HAILE
5.ARREDONDO 16 15
6-REDDICK b
7-ST. PETERSBURG) DRAGLINE co Z
8-BRADENTON PITS K -. "
RIVERS AND SPRINGS 7,/ 'o
9-ST. JOHNS (SPOIL BANKS) 8 /
10-PEACE CREEK ,4 ,2
11-WAKULLA SPRINGS -- / II
12-ITCHTUCKNEE RIVER AND SPRINGS- ,
13-AUCILLA RIVER .
14-HORNSBY SPRING / '
CAVES c '
15-EICHLEBERGER ---/
16-SABER- TOOTH \//
17-IRON LADDER 0
18-MARIANNA AREA --. ...
Text figure 11. Map of better known Pleistocene localities.




















FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


Plate VIII. Pleistocene mammoth.
















A ~i /


bY



..~: ~
j~~'p :~.,


- ro


cJ~
011
















0
i-i
>]
-



tte h:


F

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r'-.v
'. '/



















FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


Plate IX. Pleistocene mastodon.






-,u


*, Ai


%,


Lr~~


Pt.


5.'


L~M~,~,-~=~s.-:";~Jc~:




















50 FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


Plate X. Florida saber-tooth tiger and Pleistocene horses.





;-~q -~j~ -~j
C.
I **..


p. --
~

~

2





j1~




















FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


ate XI. Giant sloth Megatherium and armadillo Glyptodon.










,D ~


6 ,


- I
~ -


,jf (~ - - -~
*~p


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FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


Plate XII. Pleistocene camel Tanupolama andwolfAenocyon.








































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FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


Pleistocene

It is onlynatural that the most recent fossil mammals,
those of the Pleistocene, or Ice age, shouldbe the mostwidely
distributed in the State and the best known. The stream and
swamp deposits in which their remains are preserved have
not yet been so deeplyburied as to be inaccessible nor, like
most of the older beds, so long attacked by rivers and oceans
as to have been largely eroded away and their contents lost
or redeposited.

The abundance of mammals inFlorida at this timewas
extraordinary. It can only be compared with that of the big
game region of Africa (text fig. 2). Most, perhaps all, of the
recent mammals or their immediate ancestors were already
present but there was a host of other stranger animals be-
sides. Mammoths (pl. X), mastodons (pl. IX), saber-tooth
tigers andhorses (pl. X), giant sloths and armadillos (pl. XI),
as well as llama-like camels and wolves (pl. XII), populated
the peninsula of Florida in great numbers.

Even among the less spectacular animals there were
many that no longer inhabit Florida, or that have entirely
vanished from the face of the earth. Thus there were at least
two species of capybaras, so-called "water hogs" relatively
large rodents of a group which now lives only in South America;
there was a small rodent, the bog lemming, which ranges
many miles north of Florida today, and a giant beaver, now
extinct, beside which the living beaver is a dwarf.

Flesh-eaters were not lacking to prey on this abundant
life. In addition to the black bear, there was a short-faced
bear (Arctodus floridanus, pl. XIV) allied to the strange
spectacled bear of South America. There was a dire-wolf
(Canis or Aenocyon ayersi, pl. XII), larger than the recent
wolf, and a smaller coyote (Canis latrans) which has been
extirpated from Florida. The remains of the saber-tooth
tiger (Smilodon floridanus, pl. X) have turned up in several
localities on both coasts of central Florida and the best known
remains are from a sinkhole cave in Citrus County, known and
recorded as Saber-Tooth Cave.

Remains of the ground sloths and the various armadillos







SPECIAL PUBLICATION NO. 6


(pl. XI) are common finds and the bony outer scutes of the
latter (pl. III) turn up inalmost every locality of Pleistocene
age.

One of the great mysteries of the Pleistocene concerns
the horse. This animal, if we are to judge by his abundant
fossilized remains, was present in great numbers on this
continent from the Eocene to within some 10, 000 years ago.
Then, for some now unknown reason, possibly disease, or
a change of climate, this noble animal died out and became
extinct on this continent. In February 1519, Cortes sailed
from Havana for the conquest of Mexico, and took with him
16 horses, the first to set foot on this continent since the
last Ice age horse died out. Actually, 17 horses arrived on
the Mexican shore, for one of the mares foaled during the
journey. These horses (pl. XIII) and the other horses that
came after them made and changed history. The conquest
would have failed without them.

Mammoths and mastodons were so abundant that their
teeth are the most commonly found fossil mammalian remains
in the State (pl. II). The mastodons (pl. IX) were not true
elephants and differed from the mammoth (pl. VIII) in having
straighter tusks, higher cusped teeth withfewer ridges than
those found in the mammoth and in having all of the cheek teeth
in place simultaneously rather thanhaving the next replace-
ment tooth already crowding against the back face of the
functional toothas is evidenced in the mammoth and his living
relative, the elephant. Although the Pleistocene is generally
termed the Ice age, the icecap did not reaches far south as
Florida and the woolly mammothwas never a resident of the
peninsula. The remains of the Imperial and Columbian
mammoths are among the more common fossil finds in
Florida today.

The fauna of Florida in the Pleistocene bore a great
resemblance to the fauna of South America. Capybaras,
short-faced bears, sloths, armadillos, tapirs, camels
(llamas, etc. ), and peccaries are all animals which we asso-
ciate with the southern continent at present. This resem-
blance is due to two causes: some of the animals did come
from South America, others originated in the North but




















FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


Plate XIII. Reintroduction of the horse into North America
by the Spaniards.








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Plate XIV. Pleistocene Vero man and cave bear Arctodus























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FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


survive only in the South. At about the beginning of the Plio-
cene, South America, which for a very long time had been
isolated from all other continents by the oceans, was reunited
with North America. Over this new Central American land-
bridge came members of groups which had been evolving in
isolation in the southern continent: the capybaras, porcu-
pines, ground sloths, armadillos and glyptodonts. The short-
faced bears, tapirs, camels and peccaries, on the contrary,
then entered South America for the first time (along with deer,
wolves, horses, mastodons, and other animals) but survived
longer in their new homes than they did in North America.

The localities that have yielded Pleistocene fossils are
many and varied in nature so that only some of the better
known deposits are discussed below. Chances are very good
that nearly every major excavation within the State of Florida
will yield up an identifiable fossil.


Seminole Field, on the outskirts of St. Petersburg has
the importance of giving us one of the few radiocarbon dates
for the State. This date is based on a charcoal fragment,
associated with the bones of extinct animals, and placed the
material as being here in a live state about 3, 000 or 4, 000
years ago. The collecting area that has in the past year been
most productive has now been destroyed by a new housing
development so that fossil collecting in Seminole Field today
is most limited.


On the east coast of peninsular Florida are two local-
ities that perhaps have been the cause of more discussion
among scientific personnel than has any other Pleistocene
localities in the eastern United States. These localities at
the Vero Canaland the Melbourne golf course were the sub-
ject of much discussion, during World War I times, due to
the finding of human fragments in association with an extinct
animal fauna. This area has also produced the type material
of the huge Canis (or Aenocyon) aversi as well as that of the
extinct tapir Tapirus veroensis.

The small sinkhole deposits at Haile and Arredondo









SPECIAL PUBLICATION NO. 6


have produced some fine tapir and peccary bones along with
a series of "micro-vertebrates" that are unknown from other
Pleistocene localities.


Anyone who has ever dug for Pleistocene vertebrates
in Florida and has stopped for a brief rest, to lean back and
contemplate amid the surrounding lush vegetation and warm
sunshine, cannot helpbut wonder about the appearance of this
first "winter resort" when it was inhabited by the animals
that now lie buried beneath the rich soil of nearly every part
of the State.


A now abandoned quarrynear Reddickhas been respon-
sible for perhaps the largest collection of rodents to have
ever been collected from the Pleistocene deposits of Florida.
These small bones are undoubtedly due to a long abandoned
owl roost and the bones are the last remnants of owl pellets
that must have littered the cave floor. A nearly complete
skeleton of a cave bear, some horse and camel remains and
a few scraps of Smilodonhave also turned up at this locality.


The deposit is no longer recognizable as a cave floor
due to the limestone cave having been mined away leaving the
once dark interior floor exposed to the open air and sunshine.
Here again, as with so many of Florida's localities, permis-
sion must be obtained before one can collect in this area.


The many shell marl dragline pits of the St. Petersburg
and Bradenton areas have been listed as good spots to obtain
fragmentary remains of most of the Pleistocene animals that
were present in Florida. Due to the methods of mining only
the smaller bones are ever recovered in a complete condition
and nothing associated or more complete can be added to the
tantalizing scraps that turn up. The material is dredged
up from a water-filled pit and dumped on a spoil heap from
which it can be recovered. But, to get additional material
from the exact spot fromwhich a spoil bank scrap was obtained
is nearly impossible.








64 I







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SPECIAL PUBLICATION NO. 6


Pleistocene Faunal List


Marsupialia: Opossums only in North America
Didelphidae: Opossums
Didelphis marsupialis Linnaeus 1758:
Virginia opossum
Insectivora: Moles, shrews, hedgehogs, etc.
Talpidae: Moles
Scalopus aquaticus (Linnaeus) 1758:
Eastern mole
Soricidae: Shrews
Blarina brevicauda (Say) 1823: Short-tailed
shrew
Cryptotis floridana (Merriam) 1895: Florida
short-tailed shrew
Chiroptera: Bats
Vespertilionidae: Little brown bats, big brown
bats, etc.
Myotis Kaup 1829, sp. indet.
Myotis cf. austroriparius (Rhoads) 1897
Molossidae: Free-tailed bats
Molossides floridanus G.M. Allen 1932:
Extinct free-tailed bat
Primates: Lemurs, monkeys, apes, man, etc.
Hominidae: Man
Homo sapiens Linnaeus 1758: Man
Edentata: Armadillos, anteaters, and sloths
Megalonychidae: Megalonychid ground sloths
Megalonyx jeffersonii (Desmarest) 1822:
Jeffersonian ground sloth
Megalonyx cf. wheatleyi Cope 1871: cf.
Wheatley's ground sloth
Megatheriidae: Megatheriid ground sloths
Megatherium hudsoni White 1941
Megatherium mirabile Leidy 1854
Mylodontidae: Mylodont ground sloths
Paramylodon harlani (Owen) 1840: Harlan's
ground sloth
Thinobadistes segnis Hay 1919
Dasypodidae: Armadillos
Chlamytherium septentrionalis (Leidy) 1890:
Extinct giant "armadillo"








FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


Dasypus bellus (Simpson) 1929: Extinct
armadillo
Glyptodontidae: Glyptodonts
Boreostracon floridanus Simpson 1929
Lagomorpha: Rabbits, hares, and pikas
Leporidae: Hares and rabbits
Sylvilagus floridanus (J.A. Allen) 1890:
Florida cottontail
Sylvilagus palustrellus Gazin 1950: Pigmy
marsh rabbit
Sylvilagus palustris (Brachman) 1837:
Marsh rabbit
Rodentia: Rodents
Sciuridae: Squirrels
Sciurus carolinensis Gmelin 1788: Gray
squirrel
Geomyidae: Pocket gophers
Plesiothomomys orientalis (Simpson) 1928:
Extinct pocket gopher
Geomys pinetis Rafinesque 1817: Pocket
gopher
Castoridae: Beavers
Castor canadensis Kuhl 1820: Beaver
Castortoides ohioensis Foster 1838: Extinct
giant beaver
Cricetidae: Native rats and mice (rice rats,
cotton rats, white-footed mice, etc.)
Oryzomys palustris (Harlan) 1837: Rice rat
Reithrodontomys humulis (Audubon and
Bachman) 1841: Harvest mouse
Peromyscus floridanus (Chapman) 1889:
Florida white-footed mouse
Peromyscus gossypinus (LeConte) 1853:
Cotton mouse
Sigmodon hispidus Say and Ord 1825:
Cotton rat
Neotoma floridana (Ord) 1818: Wood rat
Synaptomys (Synaptomys) australis Simpson
1928: Extinct bog lemming
Ondatra zibethicus (Linnaeus) 1766: Muskrat
Ondatra zibethicus floridanus Lawrence
1942: Extinct subspecies of muskrat







SPECIAL PUBLICATION NO. 6


Neofiber alleni True 1884: Florida water
rat or round-tailed muskrat
Pitymys pinetorum (LeConte) 1830: Pine
mouse
Erethizontidae: New world porcupines
Erethizon dorsatum (Linnaeus) 1758: North
American porcupine
Hydrochoeridae: Capybaras
Neochoerus pickneyi (Hay) 1923: Extinct
giant capybara
Hydrochoerus holmesi Simpson 1928:
Extinct capybara
Cetacea: Whales and porpoises
Cetacea indet.
Delphinidae: Dolphins, killer whales, blackfish,
etc.
Globicephala ?baereckeii Sellards 1916:
Extinct blackfish
?Balaenopteridae: Whale-bone whales in part
?Balaenoptera Lacepede 1804, sp. indet.:
?Rorqual
Carnivora: Carnivores
Canidae: Dogs, wolves, foxes, etc.
Aenocyon ayersi (Sellards) 1916
Canis latrans Say 1823: Coyote
Canis cf. lupus Linnaeus 1758: Wolf
Vulpes ?palmaria Hay 1917: Extinct (?)red
fox
Urocyon cinereoargenteus (Schreber) 1775:
Gray fox
Urocyon seminolensis Simpson 1929:
Extinct gray fox
Ursidae: Bears
?Tremarctos floridanus (Gidley) 1928:
Extinct spectacled (?) bear
Ursus americanus Pallas 1780: Black bear
Ursus Linnaeus 1758, sp. nov. ?: "True"
Ursus (not black bear)
Procyonidae: Raccoons
Procyon lotor (Linnaeus) 1758: Raccoon
Procyon nanus Simpson 1929: Extinct
raccoon
Mustelidae: Badgers, skunks, weasels, otters,
etc.







FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


Mustela frenata Lichtenstein 1831: Bridled
weasel
Mephitis mephitis (Schreber) 1776: Striped
skunk
Spilogale ambarvalis Bangs 1898: Little
spotted skunk
Lutra canadensis (Schreber) 1776: River
otter
Felidae: Cats
Felis (Lynx) rufus Schreber 1777: Bobcat
Felis (Noctifelis or Herpailurus) Severtzov
1858, sp. indet. : Margay or jaguarundi-
type cat
Felis (Puma) inexpectataa (Cope) 1896:
Extinct (?) puma
Panthera (Jaguarius) ?augusta (Leidy) 1872:
Extinct (?) species of jaguar
Smilodon floridanus (Leidy) 1889: Florida
saber-tooth cat
Phocidae: True or earlesss" seals
Monachus tropicalis (Gray) 1850: West
Indian monk seal
Proboscidea: Elephants, mastodonts, etc.
Mammutidae: Mastodonts
Mammut americanum (Kerr) 1792:
American mastodon
Elephantidae: Elephants
Mammuthus (Parelephas) columbi (Falconer)
1857: Columbian mammoth
Mammuthus (Parelephas) floridanus (Osborr)
1929: Florida mammoth
Mammuthus (Archidiskodon) imperator
(Leidy) 1859: Imperial mammoth
Sirenia: Sea cows, manatees, and dugongs
Trichechidae: Manatees
Trichechus Linnaeus 1758, sp. indet.:
Manatee
Perissodactyla: Odd-toed ungulates
Equidae: Horses
Equus Linnaeus 1758, sp. indet.: Horses
Tapiridae: Tapirs
Tapirus veroensis Sellards 1918: Florida
tapir







SPECIAL PUBLICATION NO. 6


Tapirus Brisson 1762, sp. indet. : Large
tapir
Artiodactyla: Even-toed ungulates
Tayassuidae: Peccaries
Mylohyus gidleyi Simpson 1929: Extinct
peccary
Platygonus LeConte 1848, sp. indet. :
Extinct peccary
?Tayassu Fischer 1814, sp. indet.
Camelidae: Camels, guanacos, and vicunas
Camelidae indet., cf. Camelops Leidy 1854
Camelidae indet. cf. Tanupolama
americana (Wortman) 1898
Tanupolama mirifica Simpson 1929: Extinct
camel
Cervidae: Deer
?Cervus Linnaeus 1758, sp. indet.:
Medium-sized cervid
Odocoileus virginianus (Boddaert) 1784:
Virginia deer
Bovidae: Bison, cattle, sheep, goats, etc.
Bison latifrons (Harlan) i 325: Extinct bison
Bison H. Smith 1827, sp. indet.



Pleistocene or Recent

The final chapter in the history of the animal life of
Florida, that of transition from Pleistocene to Recent times,
is adisasterous one, as it has been almost everywhere. The
present fauna of the State, although it possesses some unique
inhabitants, is only a poor and colorless remnant of what it
once supported. Half, or perhaps even two-thirds, of the
Pleistocene mammals are now extinct and those of their com-
panions which still survive are not only relatively few in
numbers but are also generally the smaller and less striking
forms. The rabbits, squirrels, rats, mice, some of the
carnivores, and one of the deer, have survived, but the many
sloths, horses, tapirs, camels, mastodons, mammoths and
many others no longer exist. It is not possible to assign a
definite cause to this decimation, but if present conjectures
as to the antiquity of man prove to be correct, it will seem
quite probable that the destruction of animal life by man, still







FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


going on, startedwithhis victory over some of the Pleistocene
mammals, a victory for which one must now feel some regret.

But what of man? Was he associated with some of the
great extinct animals as we was in Europe? If so, does this
indicate the great antiquity of man on this continent or the
recent extinction of these mammals? These are questions
which have long been asked andwhich cannot be fully answered
even now. At several places in Florida, especially Vero and
Melbourne, humanbones and the products of human hands
have been found inapparent association with the extinct ani-
mals mentioned above (pl. XIV).

If further discoveries confirm these and if they can
eventually survive the severe scientific criticism to which
they are now properly being subjected, it will appear that man
has been in Florida for some thousands of years and the first
arrivals in this region disputed the ground with mammoths,
mastodons and the other great beasts of the glacial epoch.
This evidence will have to be in a form beyond reproach, such
as a mastodon vertebra with an arrow point embedded in the
bone, and the bone growing around the point. Association
alone is not sufficient proof of man's antiquity in Florida.

Most of the localities termed "Pleistocene-Recent" are
to be found as spring or stream deposits or as floor deposits
of caves. Almost every spring or riverbedhas produced some
bone scraps that can be identified as belonging to animals that
lived during Pleistocene times. Springs and streambeds also
contain a generous admixture of Recent as well as Pleistocene
material so that care must be exercised in determining to
which of these epochs the bones belong. Also some of the
animals recorded as living during Pleistocene times, have
only recently disappeared from Florida scenes. This fauna
includes the great auk, the beaver, flat-tailed muskrat, bog
lemming, bison, spectacled bear, jaguar and a few others.
Just where to draw the line between Pleistocene and Recent
is a matter of taste rather than of fact and a few people believe
that we are still living in the Pleistocene.

Since the invention of the self-contained diving appara-
tus (text fig. 13) many underwater localities have yielded up
their secrets to the modern prospector who can now enter










SPECIAL PUBLICATION NO. 6 71


Text figure 13. Aqua lung prospecting and collecting.







FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY


the element of the fish and the frog in order to continue his
search for fossil bones. However, too much emphasis cannot
be placed on the danger of improperly using the self-contained
diving apparatus. All persons wishing to indulge in this fast-
growing sport should be -checked out by an expert before
attempting to dive in Florida's swifter rivers or deeper
springheads. Close attention should be paid to the decom-
pression charts and to the time that must be spent at the
different depths during the ascension from a deep dive. That
the last cautionary comments are not idle pessimism is borne
out by the recorded diving accidents that have occurred in
recent years. Many of these accidents were due to careless
handling of good equipment which, in itself, was not directly
responsible for these accidents.

Some of the more attractive water covered deposits
are the St. Johns River in the Jacksonville-Mayport area
(although the spoil banks above the river's edge are the most
productive collecting), the Peace Creek area from which
many of Florida's first described fossilswere obtained, and
the Itchtucknee River. This last named river is perhaps the
best general collecting in the State. Located as a natural
boundary between Columbia and Suwannee counties in north
central Florida, this river flows for about five miles from
its main spring to where it joins the Santa Fe River. Good
material has been obtained from the Blue Hole (termed Jug
Spring by later collectors) just below the main spring and
also from the clay flats of the Mill Pond area which begins
a mile downstream from the main boil. The best method of
collecting in the mill pond area is by the use of a steel rod
or probe which is shoved into the clay, just beneath the water.
If a bone is struck, it is felt through the metal rod and can
then be gently excavated, the swift running water carrying
away the excavated mud. Many of the fragile muskrat skulls
and antlered deer skulls were obtained by Mr. Clarence
Simpson in this way. Most rivers in Florida have pockets in
the limestone bottoms which are natural collecting traps so
that good specimens can be obtained from among the residue
that has collected over the years. This residue also includes
present day animals along with the soft drink bottles and beer
cans so thoughtfully deposited by the fishermen. Wakulla
Spring, near Tallahassee, is the localityfromwhich a nearly
complete mastodon skeleton was obtained by the Florida








SPECIAL PUBLICATION NO. 6


Geological Survey. This area has also produced many archaic
weapon points and some early pottery. No proof of man's
association with the early mammals found here has been put
forth. Recent dives by the Florida State University students
(text fig. 13) have been successful in penetrating the spring
shaft for a distance of over 1, 100 feet and a vertical depth of
250 feet.

Much of this distance is littered with bones of long
extinct animals, many of them proboscideans. The reason
for this abundance of vertebrate material is yet to be ex-
plained.

Caves, the realm of the speleologist or "spelunker"
offer another field of fossil collecting that has barely been
touched. Many of the limestone caves, situated in the cen-
tral peninsula and the western panhandle, have been worked
with some degree of success by bone hunters who prefer this
medium to the hot sunny quarries that one usually associates
with vertebrate paleontology. Although many of these caves
have been explored, few have been excavated to the degree of
that found inSaber-Tooth Cave in Citrus County. Eichleberger
Cave, south of Ocala, penetrates the limestone for hundreds
of feet, yet the best collecting area was discovered beneath
the cave floor just inside the main entrance. There the re-
mains of Canis ayersi were recovered along with some frag-
ments of horse and camel. Also present were the remains
of rodents, rabbits and a few peccary teeth.

Iron Ladder Cave north of Saber-Tooth Cave, was
named for the metal windmill ladder that gives access to the
underground crypt through a hole in the cave ceiling. The
bone-bearing layerwas the most lucrative just below the 60-
foot high opening in the ceiling. This accumulation of bones
was undoubtedly due to the animals falling through the hole
and being killed on impact on the rocks below. One human
skeleton, probably Indian, is known from this bone pile, below
one of nature's natural traps. One can but wonder how this
early hunter met his death.

The Florida Panhandle, particularly the Marianna
area, is honeycombed with caves and it is safe to state that



























74 FLORIDA GEOLOGICAL SURVEY

the best fossil cave localities are yet to be discovered in
Florida.

Perhaps Florida is the only state in which vertebrate
fossils can be collected within easyaccess to cool shade and
clear running spring water, and one in which a successful
field trip can be conducted within a few hours drive rather
than a trip of several days, which has been the experience
of the majority of collectors setting forth from Eastern States
to obtain a collection of Tertiary vertebrates.



































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