FGS staff have collected and preserved thousands of fossil specimens over the past century. Fossils exposed within rocks at or near land surface range from 45 million-year-old "sand dollars" to bones and teeth from the "Ice Age" saber-tooth tiger. Our current collections include a variety of fossilized shells, shark teeth, and agatized coral (the official state stone of Florida), as well as larger vertebrate fossils, including a Miocene dugong (sea cow) skeleton.
The UF/FGS Collection of fossil vertebrates consists of about 22,000 mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians and fish - almost all of which were collected in Florida. In addition to the fossil vertebrate collection, the Florida Museum of Natural History's Invertebrate Paleontology Collection has fully curated 149,467 specimens of invertebrate fossils of molluscs, arthropods, corals, bryozoans, echinoderms and foraminifera. Approximately 50,000 more specimens have yet to be fully curated. Information about these specimens can be found at http://specifyportal.flmnh.ufl.edu/ip/.
The Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville now houses most of the fossils collected by the FGS. However, at the Museum of Florida History in Tallahassee, visitors can view "Herman," a mastodon skeleton recovered by FGS staff in 1930 from the depths of Wakulla Springs.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.