Discover Fossils & Paleontology

Fossil Collecting Resources

Florida Vertebrate Fossil Collecting Permit

Fossil collectors who collect vertebrate fossils on state lands in Florida, which include all navigable waterways, and offshore waters, are required to have a Fossil Collecting Permit issued by the Florida Program of Vertebrate Paleontology.

Vertebrate Fossil Identification Service

Museum scientists will identify fossils that have been legally collected or purchased.

Collecting Fossil Plants in Florida

While fossil plant remains are nowhere as abundant as the remains of fossil vertebrates or invertebrates in Florida, they are nonetheless an important part of Florida's fossil record.

Florida's Fossil, Shell, and Mineral Clubs

Numerous clubs have been organized around the state that cater, wholly or in part, to fossil collecting. Some are strictly paleontological, some focus just on modern and fossil shells, and some are rock, mineral, and fossil organizations.

Invertebrate Paleontology Image Gallery

Image galleries of fossil bivalves, cephalopods, corals, crabs, shrimps, gastropods, sand dollars, sea urchins, sea biscuits, sea stars and much more.

Thomas Farm Fossil Digs

Thomas Farm is an ideal fossil site for combining research with education. Side-by-side, both professional and amateur paleontologists have excavated vertebrate fossils at Thomas Farm for many decades, with great mutual benefit. The Florida Museum routinely operates programs that teach people of highly varied backgrounds about the ancient amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals that lived in Florida 18 million years ago.

Using Topographic Maps for Fossil Hunting

Dave Steadman at Thomas Farm dig

Ornithology curator David Steadman leads the search for hummingbird fossils at the Thomas Farm site.

One of the more useful maps for the avocational and professional paleontologist alike is the topographic map. Learn how to use one and and how to find maps for your area.


Museum Paleontology Collections

Visit these Museum collections for more information: