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Fossil expedition offered by Calusa Nature Center this weekend

By Staff | Sep 14, 2009

Join the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium as we host a Fossil Expedition, led by “Fossiling in Florida” and “Desert Sharks” author Mark Renz, on a search for the prehistoric remains of sharks, mammoths, mastodons, giant sloths, armadillos, saber-toothed cats and other fossilized bones and teeth.

This Saturday, Sept. 19 between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., Renz will provide shovels and screens for collecting, and will help identify your finds; copies of his new book, “Desert Sharks” will also be available for purchase during the event. Everyone keeps what they find, unless it is new to science, in which case it will be donated to the Florida Museum of Natural History.

Participants should wear clothes they don’t mind getting wet, as the collection site may be in waist-deep water. This expedition is appropriate for entire families, although it is recommended for children seven and up. Total time collecting will be four and five hours. Meet at the Nature Center at 8 a.m. to carpool to site. The cost is $60 per non-member and $50 for members. Register by Friday, Sept. 18 by calling 239-275-3435.

The Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium is a private, not-for-profit environmental education centerwhich offers fun for people of all ages! Voted Best Nature Center in Florida for 2004 by the readers of Florida Monthly magazine. The Museum, Aviaries and Trails are open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please join Volunteer Docent Norm DeWolfe every Tuesday and Friday at 9:30 a.m. for a guided walk of the Cypress Swamp Boardwalk. He has been leading the walk for years and is one of the best interpreters of the swamp.

The Center consists of the Living Natural History Museum with live native animals including a fox, bobcat, raccoons, Butterfly Aviary and Native Plant Nursery, an Audubon Aviary which houses permanently injured birds of prey (hawks, a vulture, two bald eagles, owls and more), nature trails, a picnic area, a gift shop with an excellent assortment of nature books and a Planetarium which features astronomy programs.

The Center is located at 3450 Ortiz Avenue at the intersection of Colonial Blvd. and Six Mile Cypress in Fort Myers, one minute from I-75 at Exit 136. Additional information is available at www.CalusaNature.org or by calling 275-3435.

Admission to the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium is $9 for adults and $6 for children (ages 3-12). This one-price admission includes the Museum, Butterfly Aviary, Trails and all Planetarium shows scheduled that day. Group rates are available for 15 or more people. Family memberships are available which entitles members to free admission for a year and many other special prices on programs and discounts in the gift store. We welcome new volunteers; please call 239-275-3435 to schedule an orientation.