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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Area residents who have discovered a mysterious fossil while gardening or hiking and would like to learn more about it now have the perfect opportunity.

The Florida Museum of Natural History is hosting “Ask a Paleontologist” events from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday (Feb. 12), March 4, April 15 and May 6.

Florida Museum vertebrate paleontology collections manager Richard Hulbert and Florida Museum invertebrate paleontology collections manager Roger Portell will identify fossils for visitors and share information about paleontology March 4 and May 6. Hulbert is also scheduled for Feb. 12 and Portell for April 15.

“The best way for people to learn is to communicate with those doing the research,” said Florida Museum education assistant Amanda Erickson Harvey. “This is a great opportunity for kids and adults alike to learn about our state’s prehistoric life. Florida is rich with fossils, and research by museum paleontologists continues to expand our knowledge about the animals and plants that lived here millions of years ago. ”

Some fossils commonly found in Florida include bones of large animals, such as 15- to 20-foot-tall giant ground sloths and glyptodonts, 10-foot-long relatives of the armadillo, as well as shark teeth and numerous aquatic invertebrates.

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Source: Amanda Harvey, 352-273-2052,
Writer: Kate Martin
Media contact:  Paul Ramey, 352-273-2054,