Tampa Bay History Center opens year-long Florida fossil exhibit

There's old Florida and then there's really old Florida, and Tampa Bay History Center has some of both. 

Whether you want the history of how Tampa was settled or the story of the beasts that walked the state before it was discovered by Native Americans, the History Center has something on display for you. 

Its newest exhibit, ‘Tusks to Tails: A Fossil History of Florida,’ features Florida fossils from 55 million years ago through roughly 10,000 years ago. 

"This exhibit is really interesting because it covers a large swath of Florida History," shared Brad Massey, a curator from the History Center. "When people come in, they are going to see fossils from animals that swam, that crawled, that basically lived in Florida over the past 55 million years. And these animals range from a giant 20-foot toothed whale to a giant ground sloth." 

They have saber-toothed tiger fangs, megalodon teeth, whale bones and other fossils all found right here in Florida riverbeds, phosphate mines and coastal waters.

"We have a lot of other really interesting fossils like a mastodon bone and mammoth molars that are on display," said Massey.

The curator knows the exhibit well as he and other staff members physically assembled the collection themselves along with community partners.

"USF helped us with their 3-D map technology," said Massey.

The exhibit opened Saturday and will be on display until January of 2022.

LINK: Click here for more information about the exhibit.

Tickets can be purchased online and masks are required when visiting the Tampa History Center.


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