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Digging for Shell Fossils


Members of the Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club recently participated in a quarry dig to assist University of Florida scientists and representatives from the UF Natural History Museum.

The field research, completed at a quarry south of Arcadia that is closed to visitors, yielded a noteworthy collection of shell fossils, including an amazing find of a fossil junonia.

Over three days, they sampled various layers in the walls of the quarry, up to 17 feet tall.  Shell fossils that have been buried for 2 million to 3 million years were visible.

Club members were allowed to collect shell fossils at the end of each day, going home with several interesting ones. A few found shark eye shells with their operculums tucked inside, as well as large whelks, scallops, nutmegs and a turbinella.

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