Over 1,000 different species of vertebrate animals are known to have lived in Florida over the past 35 million years. Florida has the richest fossil record of vertebrate animals of the eastern United States.

This website is designed to provide basic information about each of these species, images of fossils in the Florida Museum collection, and citations to the primary scientific literature to provide a guide to those seeking further information. The species accounts are linked with the Vertebrate Fossil Sites of Florida, which provide information on the localities which have produced these fossils. The intended audiences are students and educators, amateur and professional paleontologists, and any others interested in paleontology.

When possible, the references will include links to online versions of the papers, although not all of them will have free open-access. An online glossary will provide definitions for technical terms. The book, The Fossil Vertebrates of Florida, will also be a good reference to those with little or no training in paleontology.

This website will frequently use names of land mammal ages to describe the relative age of a fossil site or a species. View a complete description of land mammal ages, how they are used, and which ones are found in Florida.

SpeciesTaxonomyCommon Name
Aepycamelus majorMammaliaLeidy’s giraffe camel
Alligator mississippiensisReptiliaAmerican alligator
Alligator olseniReptiliaOlsen’s alligator
Amebelodon brittiMammaliaBritt’s shovel-tusker; gomphothere
Amphicyon longiramusMammaliaWhite's bear-dog
Aquila biviaAvesextinct golden eagle
Archaeohippus blackbergiMammaliaBlackberg’s dwarf horse
Arctodus pristinusMammalialesser short-faced bear
Barbourofelis loveorumMammaliaLoves’ false sabercat
Batrachosauroides dissimulansAmphibiagaint salamander
Bufo defensorAmphibiaInglis toad
Canis dirusMammaliadire wolf
Ciconia malthaAvesasphalt stork
Desmodus stockiMammaliaStock's vampire bat
Didelphis virginianaMammaliaVirginia opossum
Enhydritherium terraenovaeMammaliaextinct giant otter
Epicyon haydeniMammaliagiant hyena-dog
Eremotherium eomigransMammaliaWandering giant ground sloth
Floridaophis auffenbergiReptiliaextinct snake
Floridatragulus dolichanthereusMammaliaextinct long-jawed camel
Haliaeetus leucocephalusAvessea eagle; bald eagle
Hemiauchenia macrocephalaMammalialarge-headed llama
Neofiber alleniMammaliaround-tailed muskrat
Osbornodon iamonensisMammaliaIamonia dog
Pandion lovensisAvesLove Site osprey
Panthera oncaMammaliajaguar
Sylvilagus webbiMammaliaWebb's marsh rabbit
Tapirus polkensisMammaliaOlsen's dwarf tapir
Tapirus webbiMammaliaWebb's tapir
Teleoceras proterumMammaliaArcher short-legged rhino
Xenosmilus hodsonaeMammaliaHodson's saber-tooth cat
Carcharodon hastalis (= Isurus hastalis)Chondrichthyesancestral white shark
Cormohipparion ingenuumMammalianoble hipparion; 3-toed horse
Dasypus bellusMammaliabeautiful armadillo
Kyptoceras amatorumMammaliaprotoceratid; sling-shot horn
Mesoreodon floridensis
MammaliaFlorida oreodont
Metaxytherium floridanumMammaliaFlorida dugong
Neohipparion eurystyleMammaliahipparion; 3-toed horse
Ontocetus emmonsiMammaliaEmmon’s walrus
Pomatodelphis inaequalisMammalialong-snouted dolphin
Pseudemys williamsiReptiliaWilliams’ cooter
Rhizosmilodon fiteaeMammaliaFite’s saber-tooth cat
Siren lacertinaAmphibiagreater siren
Smilodon fatalisMammaliasaber-toothed cat
Tapirus haysiiMammaliaHays' tapir
Thecachampsa americana (= Gavialosuchus americanus)ReptiliaNorth American false gharial
Titanis walleriAvesWaller’s terror bird
Tremarctos floridanus
MammaliaFlorida spectacled bear
Hemipristis serraChondrichthyessnaggle-tooth shark
Carcharocles megalodonChondrichthyesmegalodon

Sponsorship and Funding Opportunities

Funds are needed to hire advanced UF undergraduate and graduate students to write these accounts, take the images, and put them in proper format to post online. Individuals, families, and organizations who want to sponsor one or more species accounts should contact Richard Hulbert. For a donation of $150 or more, you can help sponsor the web page of a particular fossil species, and your support will be acknowledged on that species web page. For a donation of $500 or more, you can be the exclusive sponsor of a species webpage. Donations are tax deductible.

National Science Foundation Grant

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number CSBR 1203222, Jonathan Bloch, Principal Investigator. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.as part of an initiative funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation (CSBR 1203222).

Text and Images Copyright © Florida Museum of Natural History