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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History is now offering free docent-guided tours of the permanent exhibit, “Florida Fossils: Evolution of Life and Land. The 20 minute tours begin at 2:45 p.m. on the third Saturday of the month, beginning Feb. 19.

“We really hope the tours will enrich the visitor experience at the museum,” said Florida Museum education assistant Jeanette Carlisle. “Our goal is to make this an ongoing and permanent program.”

The tours are guided by museum docents with exhibit training. Groups are limited to 12 people, and visitors who wish to participate should meet the docent tour guide in the central gallery in front of the mammoth five minutes prior to the tour.

“This is a great program and something we’ve been working on for a long time,” Carlisle said. “The docents love to give tours, and it’s one more way for our guests to enjoy the museum.”

Drawing upon the Florida Museum’s internationally acclaimed fossil collections, this award-winning exhibit describes the last 65 million years of Florida’s history. Walk through time beginning with the Eocene, when Florida was underwater, to the Pleistocene, when the first humans arrived 14,000 years ago.

More than 90 percent of the 500 fossils displayed in the exhibit are real and many were found within 100 miles of Gainesville. The exhibit also features 30 skeletons of Florida’s earliest mammals, including a 15-foot-tall ground sloth, bear dog, jaguar and peccary, a pig-like animal.

For more information visit or call 352-846-2000.

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Source: Jeanette Carlisle, 352-273-2026,
Writer: Logan Gerber
Media contact: Paul Ramey, 352-273-2054,