person sits looking up at the camera. A partially uncovered fossil can be seen next to them
Florida Museum photo by Jonathan Bloch

As you maybe heard, the “BIG” news from Montbrook is what appears to be an articulated skeleton of a large proboscidean (elephant relative) coming out of the ground.

So far we have at least one front leg all the way to the shoulder (about 8 ft long), ribs, and vertebrae all in anatomical position! We are hoping to find the back and front ends soon. It may be a large gomphothere, or possibly a mastodon. These are rare at Montbrook but are found. We need to see the skull to find out!

To make things complicated, we are finding a lot of a baby gomphothere on top of the big skeleton. Today we found lots of tiny vertebrae, what looks like parts of the skull with teeth, and a small tusk of this smaller animal! Maybe the skull of the big one is under all of this–elephant toes crossed!