Fossil-hunting couple digs into Florida's past

- It's always nice to have common interests with your spouse. Mike and Seina Searle certainly love the same thing: Hunting for fossils.

"It's amazing to hold something that hasn't been seen in 35 million years, especially if it's an artifact an Indian made," said Seina, the director of the Tampa Bay Fossil Club. "You think that the last guy that touched this... the person who was using it, now you're holding it.

Finding fossils has been a passion of Mike and Seina's for more than 20 years.

"Every fossil tells a story.  The adventure of when you get it, the friends you were with, how you found it and we scuba dive for a lot of fossils," Mike said.

The Searles have found a lot of fossils over the years. They have an entire room devoted to their finds.

"People always ask, 'Where did that come from?' They think you have to travel all over the world to find this stuff and it's all right here. We have a great fossil record right here in Florida," Mike continued.

While the Searles love the hunt for fossils, they are most excited about finding things that can benefit science.

"A lot of people always look at a fossil and think, 'Wow, how much is that worth?' That's not why we do that," Seina added. "It's more important to find something that's important to science and your name will be on that then forever that money can go away like that."

So Mike and Seina keep going on adventures, digging, diving, keeping their eyes wide open -- who knows what they will come across.

"You might be able to change science with the find that you make."

The club's outreach program makes presentations for schools throughout the school year.


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