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Updated: 06/18/2014 12:21:37AM

Land from the sea — Florida’s geologic history

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Our area of Florida is one of the best fossil hunting areas in the world. Most fossils are from marine animals. The large rock contains many shell remains. Shark teeth are commonly found. Shark skeletons are mostly cartilage and only the harder teeth remain as evidence of the myriad of sharks that existed. On the right is a limonite rock, a very low grade of iron ore that is found in boggy areas of Florida.

By Karen Smoke

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Dig anywhere in DeSoto County and you’ll find a thick layer of shell rock, sometimes as little as 15 feet below the surface. Much of the county also sits atop an area known as “Bone Valley” for the rich deposits of rock containing phosphate. But we realized we didn’t know much more about Florida’s geologic past, so we checked out “Geologic History of Florida” by Albert C. Hine, published by the University of Florida from the DeSoto County Library to learn more.

Florida’s geologic history goes back about 700 million years, but most of the action to form the Florida we know today took place in the last 200 million years. Compared with the rest of the world’s land masses, Florida is still in diapers.

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