If you’re looking for a different, yet exciting and adventurous activity for your next trip to Florida, consider heading to the Peace River for some fossil hunting. The Peace River located in southwestern Florida is a virtual graveyard from prehistoric times and includes fossils of the giant carcharodon shark otherwise known as Megalodon.
Other finds may include the fossilised remnants of the mastodon, mammoth, camel, horse, bison, whales, and alligators, in addition to a host of other creatures. If you’ve never heard of Megalodon then you may be surprised to discover that this shark was one of the largest and most powerful predators to ever grace this planet at 55 to 60 feet in length. The Megalodon is extinct having disappeared roughly 1.5 million years ago.
Located in southwestern Florida the Peace River runs for 106 miles from northeast of Bartow right here in Polk County, and through Hardee and DeSoto Counties before emptying into the Charlotte Harbor estuary near Port Charlotte.
There are Professional fossil guide services you can utilize, but a permit ($5) is required if you are fossil hunting on any state owned property that the river or creek runs through. As a general rule, the best fossil hunting conditions are when the water level is low as it provides for better clarity and visibility.
You will need a shovel, a screen, and the desire to dig. The best advice that Mark gives about searching for fossils is to pick a spot and just keep digging. The deeper you go, the more likely that you will find something unusual.
Always be aware of your surroundings when venturing outdoors. Florida is home to many wildlife such as snakes, turtles and alligators.
Photo source: Megalodon_tooth: Brocken Inaglory