On Thursday, May 8, Lower School Science teacher Henry Sadler took his 6th-grade Life Science classes on a field trip to the Peace River in Arcadia, FL, as an extension on their unit on fossils.
In class they have been discussing fossils as part of several units including natural selection, evolution, and marine science. “The Peace River contains a wealth of land and marine fossils,” said Mr. Sadler. The marine fossils commonly found include Megalodon, mammoth, shark, ray, pufferfish, barracuda, and dolphin. Land fossils commonly found include horse, glyptodont, alligator, bird, turtle, snake, and deer.
There are two reasons that marine and land fossils are found in the Peace River. First, that part of Florida experienced numerous cycles of being land versus being submerged in sea water. Second, this area currently has a river running through past deposits which include intermixed marine and land fossils. So, it’s quite common to find marine fossils (e.g. shark teeth) in the same area as a land fossils (e.g. horse teeth)
The geologic formation in the Peace River in Bone Valley ranges in age from Miocene to Pliocene. This means that some of the fossils our students found range in age from 2 million years old to 20 million!
“The 6th graders had a great time,” said Mr. Sadler. “They found a variety of things from Mako shark, Megalodon shark, bull shark, sand tiger shark, Hemipristis shark, to some pieces of turtle and horse.”