The tiny black pebbles in this gravel are made of phosphate rock, collected in the Peace River area of Florida. Mixed in with the pebbles are 20-million-year-old fossils of sharks, rays, and other animals that lived in or near the shallow sea that covered Florida at that time. The more you look the more you find, because some of the fossils are tiny teeth from baby sharks!
Here’s one way to hunt for fossils in your phosphate gravel: Pour some gravel on one side of a paper plate, then slowly push small amounts of gravel to the other side of the plate, so you can look closely at a very thin layer of black-and-gray phosphate pebbles, sand, and fossils. Use a magnifier if you have one. Pick out any fossils you see and set them aside to identify later.
Your bag of gravel comes with a paper that will help you identify many of your fossil finds. You may also find one or two these fossils:
- Stingray tail spines and teeth.
- Fish mouth plates.
- Vertebrae of sharks and other types of fish.
- Pieces of fossilized turtle shell.
- Fossil horse teeth.
- Miscellaneous pieces of fossil bone.
This website will help you identify even more of the fossils in your sample of Peace River gravel: https://www.fossilguy.com/sites/peace-river/peace-river-fossils.htm
If you still have trouble identifying something, email a photo of the fossil to Mr. Eric at NatureSwapShop@gmail.com, and he will try to help.
Follow this link to learn more about collecting fossils in the Peace River area in Florida: https://www.fossilguy.com/sites/peace-river/index.htm