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 past...it 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...
Posted by R.Powers at 8:15 AM