Discovery of gigantic proportions: Diver discovers prehistoric leg bone off Florida coast | New
It was a discovery of gigantic proportions.
Cullman, Alabama, Police Officer David Brooks plunged into the shallow waters of Venice Beach, Fla., “The Shark’s Teeth Capitol of the World,” with watchful eyes for hidden treasures. He had dived here, along with others from the North Alabama Dive Center, and collected shark teeth and giant megalodon teeth – the largest shark to ever roam the seas, now extinct.
“We find things like teeth and other fossils,” he said.
During that dive, on Saturday August 7, he noticed about four square inches of something sticking up from where he was diving about 30 feet underwater.
“I didn’t know what it was, it looked awesome,” he said. “I noticed that it was not a rock and that it was not something normal. So I decided to start digging and revealing more and more of it.”
It turned out to be an almost intact Colombian mammoth leg bone, possibly a tibia.
“The boat captains we date, they’ve been doing it their whole lives, and they’re going to say, ‘that’s it,’ Brooks said.“ They’ve been doing it for so long that they know what it is. . “
This isn’t the first time that a mammoth fossil has been found there – the North Alabama Dive Center group have already found pieces of tusks. But they never found anything like the 30-inch, 50-pound leg bone, broken into two pieces.
“Our goal when we go there is to find teeth, shark teeth, megalodon teeth,” said Jennifer Parker, one of the two owners of the dive shop. They also found prehistoric whale bones, mammoth tusk, stingray beards, and bones from other animals.
“We have never found anything like it,” she said.
Mammothus columbi arrived in North America about a million years ago and was one of the largest mammoths in the world, measuring up to 14 feet tall at the shoulder and sporting tusks as long as 16 feet . It died out between 10,000 and 13,000 years ago.
The area where the bone was found was a prehistoric river flowing out of Georgia, crossing Florida and about 160 miles to the old coast, said Eric Parker, owner of the dive shop. “They don’t know if it was deep and the bones ended up in the river, or if it was shallow. They lean more to the shallow side because you can dig a few inches and you’re like in river rock. So it’s probably dead where he found it, “he said.
It took Brooks 45 minutes to extract the bone using his hands and knife. Cody Hipp, one of the assistant dive instructors with Brooks, helped find it and bring it to the surface.
The bone is now on display at the North Alabama Dive Center.
“It’s just one thing in a lifetime,” Jennifer said.
The dive center has been going to Venice for three years, welcoming groups of around 20 divers. It’s a popular trip, they said.
And now they can’t wait to go back. “We’ve all planned this out, how do we go back and find the rest? Brooks said.
“We have already planned our trip for next year,” Jennifer said. “As soon as we got back we had so many people who went on this trip who found so much that they were like, ‘We’re going back. When do we leave ? “”