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Peace River

Zolfo Springs 1

The Peace River has long been a Mecca for fossil collectors in Florida. Despite being heavily picked through over many years, there are still some relatively untouched areas (this isn't one of them though), but even areas that are heavily accessed still yield fossils of interest. Especially when you are looking for turtle material. Water level can be checked here.


HMS Terrapin (a Dagger Delta) at boat ramp in Pioneer Park. This is a good recreational kayak for fossiling. Its width gives it stability. This and the large cockpit make it easy to get in and out of in the water.

An early start on a cool morning. Heat rising from water. Despite lugging all my gear with me, I ended up doing little fossil collecting and spent most of the day kayaking, looking for future places to fossil, and looking for living turtles.

At this level, fossil collecting is done with mask and fins, or full scuba. It would have to drop a foot or more to do any screening.

Here the river has washed the soil out of the banks exposing solid rock.

A fossilized Emydid vertebral bone laying on the river bank. Fossil fragments, rocks, and a few sharks teeth are also visible.

Streams run out of the woods into the river. Fed by springs they run continuously, swelling with rainwater during storms.

Some of these streams are quite beautiful, unfortunately many of them are filled with garbage.


This Three-stripe Mud (Kinosternon bauri) was found in the shallow water of a stream.



There are many trees hanging over the water in the Peace. Some are the result of the river washing out the banks around the trees' roots, while others are due to phototropism.

This female Florida Redbelly Turtle (Pseudemys nelsoni)was basking along a quiet bend in the River.

Though she is missing a rear foot and a number of toes, she was heavy and appeared healthy.

Peace River 2