Friday, July 29, 2005

This Crab Is Not Fresh.

I am always digging somewhere it seems.Digging in the garden, digging trenches for irrigation pipes, digging out my little shooting range, digging for fill dirt, and my favorite, digging another pond. Well, you get the picture.

Along the way, some interesting things pop up. This fossilized crab is one of them. In one of my little excavations, I hit limerock after removing about 4 feet of white sand which was used on the driveway. Using sledge, prybar, wedges and other low tech (cheap) tools, I busted apart some small limerock boulders to use as landscaping here and there.

When I turned over the rock, there was the crab. How cool is that? It's not unusual to find marine fossils in limerock, it's actually the norm, but usually it's seashell casts or molds and maybe a few seabiscuits .(Hick will want to know what those are..:)

I love these physical connections to the makes it seem closer, not so distant somehow. The youngest limerock in my neck of the woods dates from the Eocene Epoch,about 38 million years ago.That seems like such a long time until you touch this crab fossil and make the connection.

This crab dates from a time when there was no Florida (NO FLORIDA!)just a shallow sea. Florida is geologically very new and has not been dry land for very long. Anywhere in Florida, one can find marine fossils in the limerock that lies beneath the entire peninsula. Limerock forms on seabottoms...not dry land. This crab scuttled along the bottom of a warm shallow sea that teemed with life. Since the crab is so intact and obviously did not get eaten by a predator or scavenger, it must have been buried quickly ...perhaps by mud pushed over it during a hurricane. We'll never know.

What we do know, is that the crab lay there throughout every single second of human history. While humans learned to make fire and grow crops, the crab was there. While the pyramids were built, Rome burned, DaVinci created...the crab was there.

I just dig stuff like this...

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Hick said...

All right, Mr. Smarty Pants...I tried googling seabiscuit and the only thing that came up was the durn race horse...I'm assuming you did not find him in your limerock. And yes, I would like to know what they are.

Are you going to put the fossil in your garden?

Rexroth's Daughter said...

Great fossil find! I was just telling DPR yesterday that the only thing I miss about California are all of the fossils we would find on the beach. We haven't found a single one here in the pacific northwest. I have read that there are mastodon fossils about 30 miles from us.
I agree with you about fossils making us feel connected to the past. The continuity is somehow reassuring to me.
Really nice find.

Zanne said...

OK, I'm officially really, really jealous. And yes, I dig this kind of stuff too, being an anthropology student and all. That's a very awesome and awe-inspiring find.

I'd make a necklace out of it. No really, there was a couple from Missouri at the fair last week selling jewelry. They had beautiful necklaces that incorporated fossils.

Pablo is going to be sick over this find.

Floridacracker said...

I couldn't resist, you ask such great questions. Actually, we do find sea biscuits in limerock. They are a fossil echinoderm (the group that includes sand dollars, sea urchins, and starfish). I have 3 of them in my barn, just need to photo 'em for the blog. The crab is too fragile for our wet climate. I keep it inside.

Florida is rich in Dinos though, we were too far under water during their visit. As for mastodons, I once took some kids snorkeling in a stream near here and almost immediately one of the kids pulled a complete mastodon molar from the river bottom.

I've seen some neat fossil shark tooth jewelery, but this crab is too fragile. I am afraid it has to stay in it's limestone setting.

Take care.

Hick said...

Okay, then. I will be patient and wait for your photo of the seabiscuit...along with the photo of the scallops in their shells...