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Large Mammoth Fossil Discovered in Peace River

A rare Florida find unearthed in Arcadia

Large Mammoth Fossil Discovered in Peace River

Henry Sadler, pictured, found the 50-pound, 4-foot Columbian mammoth bone near Arcadia, Florida.

A giant mammoth femur dating back to the Ice Age was found in the Peace River near Arcadia this week. The 4-foot, 50-pound bone could be anywhere from 10,000 to millions of years old!

Professional educators and amateur paleontologists, Henry Sadler (@thinkseek) and Derek Demeter (@derekthediscoverer) found the femur while they were diving in the area on April 25. Henry located the fossil and excitedly told Derek about the find. Derek says, “When I saw it, I couldn't believe it. I was in denial. It was really neat to see that be discovered."

Derek Demeter, Planetarium director at the Seminole State College in Sanford, was diving the area with Henry on April 25 when the bone was unearthed.

While the Peace River is a well-known fossil and shark tooth hunting location, a find like this, particularly of this size and quality, is extremely rare. Although, it's worth noting that Henry also found some mammoth remains in December of 2020 near St. Petersburg. Both sets of bones came from a Colombian mammoth, which are deposited throughout the United States and Mexico. Remains of the more commonly known Wooly mammoth can be found farther north in the Great Lakes, New England, Canada and Alaska.

The Colombian mammoth was one of the largest species of mammoths standing around 4 meters tall and was a short-haired, elephant-like creature that could live up to 80 years. Compare that to the 60-year lifespan of their closest living relative, the Asian elephant. They inhabited Florida during the Pleistocene era — which took place around 2.6 million to 11,700 years ago.

On the same day the mammoth fossil was discovered, Henry also located the lower third of a saber-toothed tiger canine.

Other megafauna that roamed during this ice age include giant sloths, large armadillo-like creatures called glyptodons, American lions, bears and dire wolves. Henry surprisingly unearthed a portion of a saber-toothed tiger canine the same day, prior to finding the leg bone, an animal which could also be found in the same time period as the mammoth. I wonder if these two animals ever crossed paths.

Originally shared on the Florida Sportsman Instagram and Facebook pages.

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