Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Digging Fossils.(BRANDON).

ShopPBS.Org *

MEGALODON Shark teeth fossils, originally uploaded by botakjay.

Young and old fans of prehistoric creatures gather to swap and learn about paleontology.

RUSKIN - Logan Holder was in his element sitting in a sand pile digging with a trowel when he came upon a hidden treasure. The 7-year-old's fossil dig had unearthed a shark's tooth.

He ran to hand it over to his mother, Heather, who said Logan has been enthralled with fossils ever since she can remember.

It was her son's interest in paleontology that brought the Holder family to the first-ever Fossil Fair and swap meet at Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center on Saturday.

Like many others who are passionate about paleontology, Logan got hooked when he and his dad, David, were walking on the beach and found some sharks' teeth.

"It's just grown from there," Logan said.

The Holder family - Logan, his parents and sisters Emmaleigh, 3, and Miranda, 1 - all took trowels and went looking for artifacts in the sand pile that is part of Camp Bayou's Paleo Preserve. Paleo staff have hidden fossils and other artifacts in the sand for children to find and to take home.

About 600 fossil collectors and curiosity seekers visited the Fossil Fair on Saturday and Sunday, said Ron Shrader, president of the Paleo Preserve board.

Founded by well-known local amateur paleontologist Frank Garcia, the preserve is an educational center that teaches schoolchildren about fossils and paleontology.

The preserve has a museum with displays featuring many of Garcia's discoveries, including artifacts from his find in Ruskin's Leisey Caloosa Pit. He gained national recognition in 1983 when he found fossils from 140 species there, including 10 species scientists had never seen .

Garcia brought one of his newest finds to the fair, the skull of an Eremotherium, a relative of the sloth that lived 1.5 million years ago. He found the remains about a year ago in Leisey Caloosa Pit.

Garcia said he hopes to make the Fossil Fair an annual event.

Victor and Emily Wolff from Sun City Center, who are in their 80s and described themselves as fossils, too, said they have a longtime interest in fossils that led them into collecting.

They said they were surprised to see many items in their collection now selling for $100 or more.

Emily Wolff said she brought photos of some of their collection to show Garcia and may donate some of their fossils to the Paleo Preserve museum.

About 10 collectors set up tables at the fair to sell or trade artifacts, which ranged from $1 sharks' teeth to a Jurassic crab fossil with a $450 price tag.

Herbert Knodel of Englewood said he hopes the Camp Bayou fair will be held every year.

He said fairs are always fun for him, even if business is not brisk.

"It's always a lot of fun. You don't come to a show like this just for the business you do. You come to take a look at what others have and to get new material. And when I'm not busy doing that, I'm reading a book."

Jerry Zolg, a fossil collector and dealer from St. Petersburg, said he tries to help youngsters whenever he can.

"I got interested in fossils when I was a child. Collecting came to a point where I had to get rid of some things to make room for more things, so I got into becoming a dealer."

"It's my passion," he said.

Nathaniel Mathis, 4, of Tampa, shares Zolg's passion for fossils.

His grandparents, Donald and Chris Mathis, brought Nathaniel to the fair because of his interest in "anything prehistoric," his grandmother said.

Nathaniel likes watching the Discovery Channel, she said, and teaches her about prehistoric creatures.

Paleo Preserve and Camp Bayou are at the end of 24th Street on the south side of State Road 674. For information, call Ron Shrader at (813) 641-6853. AI: Reporter Liz Bleau can be reached at (813) 633-4323. IT: Photos by KEVIN HOWE

(C) The Holder family from Riverview - Logan, left, David, Miranda, Emmaleigh and Heather - looks for fossils in a sand pile where artifacts were hidden. Tvhe amateur archeologists dug during the Fossil Fair and swap meet at Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center on Saturday. IT: (C) Heather Holder shows a handful of bits of the past she and her family found during their dig. IT: (C) St. Petersburg fossil dealer Jerry Zolg, left, looks over specimens offered for sale by Tampa dealer George Diaz . IT: Photo by KEVIN HOWE

Emily and Victor Wolff of Kings Point in Sun City Center examine artifacts displayed in the Paleo Preserve at Camp Bayou.

Source Citation
"Digging Fossils." Tampa Tribune [Tampa, FL] 24 Apr. 2003: 1. Popular Magazines. Web. 19 Jan. 2010. .

Gale Document Number:CJ100664707

ArabicChinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)DeutchEspanolFrenchItalianJapaneseKoreanPortugueseRussian
Holiday 2008*Wal-Mart.com USA, LLC*******Personalized MY M&M'S® Candies (Web-Page) http://dinosaur.hunter2008.googlepages.com
Lowest Prices and Hassle Free Returns at WWBW.com(Album / Profile) http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=10031&id=1661531726&l=cf90f7df9cShop the Official Coca-Cola Store!leonard.wilson2008@hotmail.com
ArabicChinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)DeutchEspanolFrenchItalianJapaneseKoreanPortugueseRussian

No comments: