Fossil Case

Background and Discovery

In the mid-1960s, Palm Beach County began dredging a lake for sand, which was used as cover material for the solid waste dumped at the Dyer Boulevard Landfill. Then, in 1984, the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County took over this operation. In 1992, in addition to the usual sand, shells and rock material that were brought up by the dredge, pieces of fossilized bone started to appear from a narrow zone of sediment between 30 to 40 feet beneath the surface of the lake. The picture below shows this dredge in action.

Fossils Found

In the cases at the Education Center, you can find fossils belonging to many sea creatures including conchs, urchins, sharks, whales and sea turtles. You can also see fossils of land animals like camels, horses and more. There's even a collection of fossils from the ice age, including mastodon, mammoth and scimitar cat fossils.

Fossil Location

No complete vertebrate fossil skeletons, skulls or skeletal parts were discovered during the collection process. The combination of land and fresh-water and marine fossils found and a lack of complete skeletal material leads us to believe that this small fossil-containing bed was likely an area where a stream emptied into a brackish or salt water environment.

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