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From the preface:
"Mr. Renz has assembled a friendly read from the standpoint of a serious, well-read amateur. His work promises to be an excellent educational guide for those interested in paleontology or seeking information about their fortuitous discovery of fossil remains."--James S. Dunbar, archaeological field supervisor, Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research
With boundless enthusiasm, Mark Renz stumbles onto the skeletal remains of fierce saber-toothed cats, gentle sea cows, massive mammoths and mastodons, Volkswagen-size armadillos, and an ancient 5-ton giant ground sloth, and then shares these experiences in a humorous, illustrated book for beginning fossil collectors.
Want to look for fossils yourself but not sure how to get started? Renz tells how and where to hunt and how to preserve your finds for another million years, and he provides more than 250 photographs that help you to identify those bones and teeth and distinguish a prehistoric bison from a farmer's lost cow. He also provides information about what’s there to be found, the hurdles and hazards to be overcome, and the legalities to be observed. Guided by an appreciation for the professional paleontologist and also for the laws that regulate his hobby, Renz explains, for example, why it is okay to dig for fossils in a state-owned creek bed (providing one possesses a state permit and does not dig in a state park), and why it is illegal to engage in the same activity in search of artifacts.
With writing that's free of technical jargon but full of love for fossiling, this illustrated book will inspire you to explore the huge number of rich fossil deposits in Florida that can be found with just a shovel and a keen eye.
Posted February 3, 2002
As an amateur fossil hunter myself, I found most of this book very helpful, especially since I anticipate moving to Florida soon. I expect the photographs in this book of all the myriad of fossils found in Florida to prove helpful as I find the remains of extinct animals in the Florida area, when I otherwise would have no idea of what I've found. The author's narrative of his finds in Florida's rivers and streams are quite entertaining, I might add. The down side to the book is that the author meanders away from what I hoped would be a book solely written for fossil hunting. Much of the book focuses on the natural history of Florida (from an evolutionary point of view), which I could get from the Encyclopedia Brittanica in greater depth. Also, the author goes into great detail on evolution, then launches into the evolutionary history of this animal and that portion of Florida, etc. Again, I could get all this elsewhere in far greater depth. Too, the evolution lesson might be helpful if one *believes* in the theory of evolution, which I do not. The evolution sections went largely unread by me as I skipped to the parts in the book on pure excavation and fossil identification, and I even considered not buying the book simply because of the author's attempt at evolution indoctrination. I do feel that it's a good fossil field guide, in spite of the author's religious-like dedication to the evolutionary theory.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.