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LARGE WHALE VERTEBRA - Bone Valley - Central Florida, U.S.

MIOCENE to PLIOCENE PERIOD:  23.3 - 1.81 million years ago

Compared to the ugly and dark, crud-stained whale vertebra found in rivers, this exquisitely preserved large whale vertebra fossil could have only come from one source, the famous Bone Valley Formation in Central Florida.  With its beautiful white hue and superb condition right down to the finely detailed bone porosity, this large vertebra from a prehistoric whale is in a class all its own.  Entire surface is solid and aside from the processes, entire vertebra is intact with NO REPAIR and NO RESTORATION.  COLOR IS NATURAL AND AS FOUND!  Not only are Bone Valley fossils so rare and beautiful, also contributing to their rarity on the market is the fact that the site has been off limits for collecting for many years now.

No state, with the exception of Nebraska, has such a rich record of vertebrate fossils spanning the last 25 million years as is found in the state of Florida.  Despite the last couple hundred years of paleontological studies across the globe, the true wealth of Florida's fossil resources has only been fully recognized in the last two decades.  More than 1,100 different species have been recorded from the state and new finds are made every year!  

Florida's vertebrate fossil history dates back to the Eocene Period, 56.5 million years ago.  Florida land vertebrates from the Oligocene, Miocene and Pliocene Periods are extremely important because they are so rare elsewhere in eastern North America.  The importance of Florida's fossil record is priceless because without it, the understanding of Cenozoic terrestrial life on this continent would be very incomplete.  

First emerging from the ocean 37 million years ago as a series of islands, Florida began its history as a land mass.  Prior to the Oligocene Period 35.5 to 23.3 million year ago, vertebrate life existed over Florida strictly in the form of marine creatures dating back to the beginning of the Eocene Period.  During the Oligocene, land bridges were forming and a variety of fauna moved from the harsher climates of eastern North America to the tropical and sub-tropical, frost-free forests of Florida.  Throughout this period, glacial activity caused the oceans to rise and fall countless times, all the way up to the last 10,000 years.  At times, the state was twice its current width.  Other times, it was less than 100 miles long and 10 miles wide.

From the middle Miocene, 16 million years ago to the earliest Pliocene, about 4.5 million years ago, no other region in North America can claim a more varied and richer wealth of important vertebrate fossil finds than from the famous BONE VALLEY region in the phosphate mining district of Central Florida.  During this time, thick forests and grassy plains covered a stubby peninsula that only went as far south to what is now Polk County.  If you were to visit this area at that time, you would find six-foot tortoises, shovel-tusked mastodons, hornless rhinos, humpless camels, iguanas, gila monsters, and 30-foot crocodiles.  The warm waters surrounding the area were filled with a rich variety of life as well, including long-beaked dolphins, bony fish, rays, sea cows and sharks including the notorious and now extinct giant killer shark, Megalodon.

Bone Valley fossils are rare and highly-priced specimens.  Due to the unique geological characteristics of the phosphate-rich region, most of the fossils are beautifully preserved with amazing detail and color.  Unlike the majority of southeastern U.S. fossils retrieved from rivers and streams, Bone Valley specimens are found in dry earth and are not stained with the typical cruddy black and brown muck from rivers.  Because Bone Valley fossils comprise so much variety of both ancient marine and terrestrial creatures, along with their unique and rare beauty of preservation, specimens from this locality are very rare and of great value to any fossil collection.

THE BEST WE HAVE EVER HAD FROM THIS RARE DEPOSIT!

5" long x 6" wide x 4.75" high

SOLD     MV2101     Actual Item - One Only