The Fossil Vertebrates of Florida Book

Edited by Richard C. Hulbert, Jr. University Press of Florida, February, 2001. Hardbound; 384 pages; 341 drawings and black and white photographs; glossary; index; and references. ISBN 0-8130-1822-6, $39.95.

Available at the Florida Museum of Natural History gift shop, at bookstores,,, and directly from the publisher. Members of the Florida Paleontological Society can receive information from the club's secretary on how to purchase a copy at a discount.

Purpose and Scope

Between the late 1960s and early 1980s, first the Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH) and later the Florida Paleontological Society (FPS) published a series of pamphlets called The Plaster Jacket. Altogether more than 45 were published. Most were short reviews of the fossil record from Florida of a particular group of vertebrates, such as snakes or birds, written at a semi-technical level. They were primarily authored by FLMNH curators, staff, and students. By the late 1980s, most issues of The Plaster Jacket were out of print and had been out-dated by subsequent discoveries. The FPS hired Hulbert to compile all the original Plaster Jackets dealing with vertebrate paleontology in Florida into a single, cohesive work, to rewrite out-dated sections, to fill in the gaps of systematic coverage, and to add improved illustrations of fossils. Originally the FPS intended to publish the book themselves. In the late 1990s, following the success of Randazzo and Jones' The Geology of Florida, the University Press of Florida agreed to publish the work.

The primary purpose of the book is to serve as a general, comprehensive reference on the subject of vertebrate paleontology in Florida, one that is written at a level for a general audience but which is at the same time scientifically accurate and contains references to the primary scientific literature. Among the intended audiences of the book are students, avocational and professional paleontologists, educators, geologists, biologists, and scientific journalists.


Although all chapters in the book were at the very least substantially revised by Hulbert, many were based on the original Plaster Jackets by other authors who deserve partial credit for their work. An editorial decision was made not to list the authorship of individual chapters in the book; instead authorship of the original Plaster Jackets is listed in the front matter. Below are the authors for each chapter. For those with more than two authors, I have listed them by their relative contribution.


  1. R. C. Hulbert
  2. R. C. Hulbert
  3. R. C. Hulbert
  4. R. C. Hulbert, N. Tessman, E. S. Wing, and C. Swift
  5. P. A. Meylan, W. A. Auffenberg, and R. C. Hulbert
  6. P. A. Meylan, W. A. Auffenberg, and R. C. Hulbert
  7. P. A. Meylan, W. A. Auffenberg, and R. C. Hulbert
  8. R. C. Hulbert and J. J. Becker
  9. R. C. Hulbert
  10. R. C. Hulbert and S. D. Webb
  11. R. C. Hulbert, A. Berta, J. A. Baskin, C. E. Ray, and N. Tessman
  12. R. C. Hulbert and R. A. Martin
  13. R. C. Hulbert and S. D. Webb
  14. R. C. Hulbert, B. J. MacFadden, and J. Waldrop
  15. R. C. Hulbert and S. D. Webb
  16. R. C. Hulbert, R. H. Reinhart, G. S. Morgan, and A. E. Pratt
  17. R. C. Hulbert, G. S. Morgan, and A. E. Pratt

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Additions and Corrections to the Checklist

Chapter 3 of the book contains a checklist with all recognized valid fossil species of vertebrates known from Florida. It is an up-dated version of one compiled by Hulbert and published in 1992 by the FPS. The new checklist is current through works that were published and seen by Hulbert before July, 2000. As new studies are published and changes or additions to the list are required, they will be shown here. Each new or modified listing is footnoted to a reference or explanation which will follow the corrections and additions. Eventually a revised checklist will be available on-line.


to p. 41, Family SIRENIDAE: new genus and sp. lOLIG3

to p. 43, Family TRIONYCHIDAE: genus and sp. indet. EOC9

to p. 43, Family EMYDIDAE: genus and sp. indet. EOC9

to p. 44, Family HELODERMATIDAE: genus and sp. indet. lOLIG3

to p. 45, Family PALAEOPHIDAE: Palaeophis sp. EOC9

to p. 45, Superfamily BOOIDEA, Family indet.: Conantophis alachuaensis. eOLIG4

to p. 45, Family BOIDAE, Subfamily indet.: Totlandophis americanus. eOLIG5

to p. 45, Subfamily ERYCINAE: Calamagras platyspondyla5

to p. 45, Subfamily ERYCINAE: Geringophis robustus. eOLIG5

to p. 45, Subfamily ERYCINAE: Calamagras 2-3 spp. lOLIG3

to p. 45, Subfamily ERYCINAE: Ogmophis sp. lOLIG3

to p. 45, Subfamily ERYCINAE: Geringophis sp. eOLIG-lOLIG3,5

to p. 45, Superfamily COLUBROIDEA, Family indet.: genus and sp. indet. eOLIG5

to p. 46, Family GAVIIDAE: Gavia fortis. vePLIO8

to p. 47, Family DIOMEDEIDAE: Phoebastria albatrus. ?vePLIO8

to p. 50, Order GALLIFORMES: Family indet., genus and sp. indet. lOLIG3

to p. 55, Family DIDELPHIDAE: Herpetotherium sp. lOLIG3,13

to p. 56, Subfamily PALAEOLAGINAE: Megalagus abaconis. lOLIG3

to p. 57, Tribe TAMINI: Nototamius sp.. vlOLIG13

to p. 57, Family CASTORIDAE: Subfamily AGNOTOCASTORINAE, Agnotocastor sp. lOLIG3

to p. 57, Tribe PEROMYSCINI: Reithrodontomys wetmorei. vlPLIO6

to p. 58, Tribe PEROMYSCINI: Baiomys sp. 6

to p. 58, Tribe PEROMYSCINI: Peromyscus sarmocophinus. vlPLIO6

to p. 58, Family GEOMYIDAE: Subfamily HELISCOMYINAE, Heliscomys sp.. vlOLIG13

to p. 59, Subfamily HESPEROCYONINAE: Enhydrocyon pahinsintewakpa. ?lOLIG3

to p. 59, Subfamily HESPEROCYONINAE: Osbornodon wangi. lOLIG3

to p. 59, Subfamily BOROPHAGINAE: Phlaocyon taylori. lOLIG3

to p. 59, Subfamily BOROPHAGINAE: Phlaocyon sp. ?leMIO3

to p. 60, Tribe CANINI: Theriodictis floridanus. ?vePLEIST21

to p. 60, Subfamily TREMARCTINAE: Arctodus simus. vlPLEIST14

to p. 61, Suborder FELIFORMIA, Family indet.: Palaeogale minuta . lOLIG-veMIO3

to p. 62, Family ERINACEIDAE: Parvericius montanus. lOLIG-veMIO3

to p. 62, Superfamily SORICOIDEA: Family GEOLABIDIDAE, Centetodon magnus. lOLIG-veMIO3

to p. 63, Family VESPERTILIONIDAE: Karstala silva. leMIO1

to p. 64, Subfamily PHENACOCOELINAE: genus and sp. indet. lOLIG3

to p. 65, Family PALAEOMERYCIDAE: Subfamily ALETOMERYCINAE, Diabolocornis simonsae. leMIO22 [Note: species name incorrectly spelled simonsi in original publication]

to p. 67, Subfamily EQUINAE: Anchippus texanus. vlOLIG13

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Changes and Corrections

on p. 36, Family HEXANCHIDAE, replace Notorynchus primigenius with Notorynchus cepedianus7

on p. 36, Family CARCHARHINIDAE, replace Galeocerdo aduncus with Galeocerdo sp.7

on p. 41, Family SALAMANDRIDAE, change range of Notophthalmus sp. to lOLIG-lPLEIST3

on p. 44, Family ANGUIDAE, change range of genus and sp. indet. to lOLIG-eMIO3

on p. 45, Subfamily ERYCINAE, delete line with genera and spp. indet (3-4 spp)5

on p. 46, Family GAVIIDAE, delete line with Gavia palaeodytes8

on p. 47, Family DIOMEDEIDAE, replace Diomedea anglica with Phoebastria anglica8

on p. 47, Family PELICANIDAE, replace Pelicanus sp. with Pelicanus schreiberi8

on p. 49, Family ACCIPITRIDAE, delete line with Aquila n. sp. and replace with two lines:Aquila sp. vePLIO,ePLIO and Aquila bivia. vlPLIO2

on p. 49, Family ACCIPITRIDAE, replace Amplibuteo n. sp.A with Amplibuteo concordatus2

on p. 52, Family ALCIDAE, replace Australca grandis with Alca antiqua8

on p. 56, Subfamily PALAEOLAGINAE, replace Palaeolagus sp. with Megalagus sp. and change its range to vlOLIG13

on p. 57, Tribe SCIURINI, change range of Protosciurus sp. to vlOLIG13

on p. 57, Tribe SCIURINI, change range of Sciurus sp. to vlPLIO-ePLEIST6

on p. 57, Subfamily CASTOROIDINAE, replace genus and sp. indet. with Neatocastor sp. and change its range to ?vlOLIG13

on p. 57, Subfamily PARACRICETODONTINAE, change range of Leidymys sp. to vlOLIG13

on p. 58, Family EOMYIDAE, replace new genus and sp.A with Arikareeomys sp.13

on p. 58, Subfamily GEOMYINAE, replace Geomys propinetus with Orthogeomys propinetus6

on p. 58, Tribe PEROMYSCINI, change range of Peromyscus polionotus to vlPLIO, lPLEIST6

on p. 58, Tribe LEMMINI, replace Synaptomys n. sp. with Synaptomys morgani11

on p. 59, Tribe VULPINI, replace new genus and sp. with Urocyon webbi21

on p. 59, Tribe VULPINI, replace Urocyon sp. to Urocyon citrinus and change range to vlPLIO-ePLEIST6, 21

on p. 61, Tribe LUTRINI, change range of Lutra canadensis to vlPLIO-lPLEIST6

on p. 61, Subfamily MEPHITINAE, change range of Spilogale putorius to vlPLIO-lPLEIST6

on p. 62, Family ERINACEIDAE, delete line with Amphechinus sp.3

on p. 62, Subfamily SORICINAE, change range of Blarina brevicauda to vlPLIO-lPLEIST6

on p. 63, Family NATALIDAE, replace new genus and sp. with Primonatalus prattae19

on p. 63, Tribe MYOTINI, change range of Myotis austroriparius to ?vlPLIO,ePLEIST-lPLEIST6

on p. 64, Family TAYASSUIDAE, replace Tayassu sp. with Pecari sp. and change its range to vlPLEIST14

on p. 64, Subfamily AEPYCAMELINAE, change range of Nothokemas waldropi to lOLIG-veMIO3

on p. 65, Tribe LAMINI, replace Hemiauchenia n. sp. with Hemiauchenia gracilis20

on p. 65, Family PROTOCERATIDAE, change range of Prosynthetoceras texanus to leMIO-emMIO12

on p. 65, Family HYPERTRAGULIDAE, change range of Nanotragulus loomisi to lOLIG-veMIO3

on p. 65, Family GELOCIDAE, replace new genus and sp. with Floridameryx floridanus17

on p. 67, Subfamily EQUINAE, replace Archaeohippus n. sp. with Archaeohippus mannulus10

on p. 69, Family TAPIRIDAE, replace Tapirus simpsoni with Tapirus webbi18

on p. 69, Family TAPIRIDAE, change range of Tapirus sp. or spp. to lMIO-lPLIO23

on p. 69, Family TAPIRIDAE, replace Tapirus n. sp. with Tapirus lundeliusi23

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1Czaplewski, N. J., and G. S. Morgan. 2000. A new vespertilionid bat (Mammalia: Chiroptera) from the early Miocene (Hemingfordian) of Florida, USA. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 20(4):736-742.

2Emslie, S. D., and N. J. Czaplewski. 1999. Two new fossil eagles from the late Pliocene (late Blancan) of Florida and Arizona and their biogeographic implications. Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology 89:185-198. [Not seen until January 2001.]

3Hayes, F. G. 2000. The Brooksville 2 local fauna (Arikareean, latest Oligocene): Hernando County, Florida. Bulletin of the Florida Museum of Natural History 43(1):1-47.

4Holman, J. A., and D. L. Harrison. 2000. Early Oligocene (Whitneyan) snakes from Florida (USA), a unique booid. Acta Zoologica Cracoviensia 43(1-2):127-134. [The authors suggest very tentative placement of their new genus and species Conantophis alachuaensis in the Tropidophinae.]

5Holman, J. A., and D. L. Harrison. 2001. Early Oligocene (Whitneyan) snakes from Florida (USA): remaining boids, indeterminate colubroids, summary and discussion of the I-75 Local Fauna snakes. Acta Zoologica Cracoviensia 44(1):25-36.

6Ruez, D. R. 2001. Early Irvingtonian (latest Pliocene) rodents from Inglis 1C, Citrus County, Florida. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 21(1):153-171.

7Purdy, R. W., V. P. Schneider, S. P. Applegate, J. H. McLellan, R. L. Meyer, and B. H. Slaughter. 2001. The Neogene sharks, rays, and bony fishes from Lee Creek Mine, Aurora, North Carolina. Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology 90:71-202.

8Olson, S. L., and P. C. Rasmussen. 2001. Miocene and Pliocene birds from the Lee Creek Mine, North Carolina. Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology 90:233-365.

9Holman, J. A. 2001. First report of an Eocene reptile fauna from Florida, USA. Palaeovertebrata 30(1-2):1-10.

10O'Sullivan, J. A. 2003. A new species of Archaeohippus (Mammalia, Equidae) from the Arikareean of central Florida. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 23(4):877-885.

11Martin, R. A., L. Duobinis-Gray, and C. P. Crockett. 2003. A new species of early Pleistocene Synaptomys(Mammalia, Rodentia) from Florida and its relevance to southern bog lemming origins. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 23(4):917-936.

12Webb, S. D., B. L. Beatty, and G. Poinar, Jr. 2003. New evidence of Miocene Protoceratidae including a new species from Chiapas, Mexico. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 279:348-367.

13MacFadden, B. J., and G. S. Morgan. 2003. New oreodont (Mammalia, Artiodactyla) from the late Oligocene (early Arikareean) of Florida. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 279:368-396.

14Hulbert, R. C., G. S. Morgan, and A. Kerner. 2009. Collared peccary (Mammalia, Artiodactyla, Tayassuidae,Pecari) from the late Pleistocene of Florida; pp. 531-544 in L. B. Albright III (ed.), Papers on Geology, Vertebrate Paleontology, and Biostratigraphy in Honor of Michael O. Woodburne. Museum of Northern Arizona Bulletin 65. Flagstaff, Arizona.

15Schubert, B. W., R. C. Hulbert, Jr., B. J. MacFadden, M. Searle, and S. Searle. 2010. Giant short-faced bears (Arctodus simus) in Pleistocene Florida USA, a substantial range extension. Journal of Paleontology 84(1):79—87.

16Steadman, D. W. 2008. Doves (Columbidae) and cuckoos (Cuculidae) from the early Miocene of Florida. Bulletin of the Florida Museum of Natural History 47(2):49-72.

17Webb, S. D. 2008. Revision of the extinct Pseudoceratinae (Artiodactyla: Ruminantia: Gelocidae). Bulletin of the Florida Museum of Natural History 48(2):17-58.

18Hulbert, R. C. 2005. Late Miocene Tapirus (Mammalia, Perissodactyla) from Florida, with description of a new species, Tapirus webbi. Bulletin of the Florida Museum of Natural History 45(4):465-494.

19Morgan, G. S., and N. J. Czaplewski. 2003. A new bat (Chiroptera: Natalidae) from the early Miocene of Florida, with comments on natalid phylogeny. Journal of Mammalogy 84(2):729-752.

20Meachen, J. A. 2005. A new species of Hemiauchenia (Artiodactyla, Camelidae) from the late Blancan of Florida. Bulletin of the Florida Museum of Natural History 45(4):435-447.

21Tedford, R. H., X.-M. Wang, and B. E. Taylor. 2009. Phylogenetic systematics of the North American fossil Caninae (Carnivora: Canidae). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 325:1-218.

22Beatty, B. L. 2010. A new aletomerycine (Artiodactyla, Palaeomerycidae) from the early Miocene of Florida. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 84(2):613-617.

23Hulbert Jr., R. C. 2010. A new early Pleistocene tapir (Mammalia: Perissodactyla) from Florida, with a review of Blancan tapirs from the state. Bulletin of the Florida Museum of Natural History 49(3):67-126.

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Other Additions and Corrections

  • p. 18, Figure 1.16, Figure 2.5 and many more places within the text. In 2009, geologists voted to change the definition of the Quaternary and Pleistocene so that the start of these time intervals is now placed at about 2.6 million years ago rather than the 1.8 million year date provided in the text. This means that many Florida fossil sites and species previously assigned to the later half of the Pliocene are now regarded as very early Pleistocene. All species ranges in Chapter 3 (and in the lists above) that read either late Pliocene (lPLIO) or very late Pliocene (vlPLIO) should be changed to very early Pleistocene (vePLEIST) and those that were already early Pleistocene should be changed to late early Pleistocene (lePLEIST). Note that the start of the Pliocene Epoch was not changed, so very early Pliocene remains the age of the Palmetto Fauna (Figure 2.4). The reference for this change in the Pliocene-Pleistocene boundary is Gibbard, P. L., M. J. Head, M. J. C. Walker, and the Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy. 2010. Formal ratification of the Quaternary System/Period and the Pleistocene Series/Epoch with a base at 2.58 Ma. Journal of Quaternary Science 25(2):96-102.
  • p. 27, Figure 2.3. Add Brooksville 2 to the same box as Cow House Slough in the late Oligocene. This new local fauna was described by Hayes (2000, cited above). His analysis also indicates that the Live Oak site is of similar age and older than indicated in Fig. 2.3. Further study of the chronology of Florida's Arikareean faunas by MacFadden and Morgan (2003, cited above) indicates that the following faunas are all approximately contemporaneous, falling within the early late Arikareean (= latest Oligocene, ca. 24.5-25 Ma): White Springs local fauna (includes White Springs 1A and 3B sites); Live Oak local fauna; Cowhouse Slough local fauna; and the Brooksville 2 local fauna.
  • p. 30, Figure 2.5. Add Inglis 1C and 1D to the box with the Inglis 1A &1B, Mead Sand Pit, and F & W Mine localities. Ruez (2001, cited above) presented a faunal list for Inglis 1C and a discussion of its chronology. Add Haile 7G, Withlacoochee 1A, and Santa Fe River 8 to the box with Haile 7C (Hulbert 2010, cited above). Add Hubbard, Walden, and Summers Pits to the box with Apac S.P. (Unit 4) (Hulbert 2010). Add US 19 Bridge Site to box with Haile 15A (Hulbert 2010)
  • pp. 78-79 & Figure 4.4. According to Purdy et al. (2001, cited above), Notorynchus primigenius Agassiz, 1843 is a junior synonym of Notorynchus cepedianus (Peron, 1807).
  • p. 87. Purdy et al. (2001, cited above) supported separating Miocene tiger sharks into two species, for many of the same reasons listed on p. 87. However, they stated that the holotype of Galeocerdo aduncus (Agassiz, 1835) is lost, so the validity of this species name is questionable. They regard it as an unavailable name, but proposed no alternative, preferring to refer to this taxon as Galeocerdo sp.
  • p. 95. Purdy et al. (2001, cited above) questioned Capetta's classification of Plinthicus stenodon Cope, 1869 in the Mobulidae; they instead regarded it as an extinct form of cownose ray (Rhinopteridae).
  • p. 127. Add the following phrase that was dropped by the printer to the first line of text on this page, "Graptemysbarbouri (Barbour's map turtle) and other..." This addition should make it clear that this is a separate paragraph from the preceding text on p. 125 and that this paragraph deals with Graptemys and notTerrapene.
  • p. 150. The geographic range of Gavialosuchus americanus is larger than given, from Florida to New Jersey on the Western Atlantic Coastal Plain, with possible records from Portugal, California, and the west coast of Mexico (Myrick, 2001). Myrick's (2001:220) listing of the age of the species in Florida as Pliocene instead of Miocene is out-dated, a victim of the mid-1970s change in correlation between time scales (see Figure 1.16). Myrick (2001:223) is also incorrect in his assertion that this species has not been found in the Hawthorn Formation in Florida (it has). He also supports the synonymy of Gamericanus with Thecachampsa antiqua(Leidy, 1852). However, the holotype of the latter is an isolated tooth and is thus of questionable taxonomic value. Reference for Myrick's paper is: Myrick, A. C. 2001. Thecachampsa antiqua (Leidy, 1852) (Crocodylidae: Thoracosaurinae) from fossil marine deposits at Lee Creek Mine, Aurora, North Carolina, USA. Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology 90:219-225.
  • p. 169, Figure 8.6 caption. The catalogue number of the specimen in the figure labeled C is UF 30015, not UF 3005 as listed in the caption, and this specimen is the holotype of Aquila bivia Emslie and Czaplewski, 1999.
  • pp. 231-232. Ruez (2001) transferred Geomys propinetis Wilkins, 1984 to the genus Orthogeomys. This would mean that the "evolutionary trends" in the genus Geomys described by Wilkins (1984) and cited on p. 231 did not occur and that Orthogeomys propinetis in not closely related to the extant Geomys pinetis.
  • p. 232. The "undescribed large eomyid" was referred to Arikareeomys sp. by MacFadden and Morgan (2003, cited above).
  • p. 234, Figure 12.12 caption, second line. Replace "very early Miocene" with "late Oligocene and early Miocene".
  • p. 239. The tooth first identified as Palaeolagus from the White Springs local fauna has been re-identified asMegalagus sp. (MacFadden and Morgan, 2003, cited above).
  • pp. 254—255. The Suwannee River oreodont from the White Springs local fauna was formally described as Mesoreodon floridensis by MacFadden and Morgan (2003). In that paper they noted some problems with the oreodont nomenclature of Lander (1998) which was used in the book and employed more traditional names. To facilitate communication, the specimen listed as Merycoides harrisonensis in the book (e.g., Figure 13.15C) is called Phenacocoelus luskensis by MacFadden and Morgan (2003), while the Thomas Farm oreodont is calledMerychyus elegans in the book and Merychyus cf. minimus by MacFadden and Morgan (2003).
  • p. 270, Figure 13.39, caption. Replace Pseudoceras n. sp. with Floridameryx floridanus, following Webb (2008).
  • p. 287, Figure 14.9. Replace metastylid with metastyle.
  • p. 316, Figure 15.12, caption. The catalogue number of the specimen in the figure labeled A-B is UF/FGS 133, not UF/FGS 77000 as listed in the caption.

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