| St. Petersburg, FL, November 29, 2022|
Admiral Farragut Academy teachers Rick Cochrane and Henry Sadler are thrilled to discover a Mastodon mandible (jaw) and tusks from the Ice age of Florida while diving in local waters!
Mastodons inhabited North and Central America during the late Miocene or late Pliocene, up to their extinction at the end of the Pleistocene 10,000 to 11,000 years ago. Mastodon fossil remains are discovered periodically, but entire mandibles, especially tusks that are this complete, are extremely rare.
Henry said, “We spend years looking for things like this, and many fossil hunters go their whole lives without so much as a glimpse of a mastodon tooth, let alone an entire jaw. More importantly, I find the wow factor of such a large fossil to be so impactful to my students at Admiral Farragut Academy. When they walk into the classroom and see a jaw as big as they are, it stops them in their tracks for a few moments. Then the questions come pouring out!”
Henry and Rick have donated scientifically significant fossils to the Florida Museum of Natural History in the past and have reported this find. In addition to this discovery, they have discovered a Mammoth mandible and massive Mammoth leg bone they display in their classrooms and use as teaching aids.
Rick said, “We do a lot of research, planning, and search relentlessly to find rare fossils like this, yet when we finally make a big discovery, it’s still a shock, often leaving us in disbelief for a period of time. As a teacher at Admiral Farragut Academy, the best part of collecting fossils is sharing them with enthusiastic students, and it’s like reliving the discovery each time.”
The discovery comes as the duo collected fossil specimens to help launch Paleontology Club for Admiral Farragut Academy Lower School students. Pupils will be able to stay after school to make their own discoveries from fossil-rich gravel, identify and study specimens, and learn all about paleontology through fun and engaging activities.
Steeped in history, with alumni in the White House, on the surface of the moon, and in leadership positions worldwide, Admiral Farragut Academy focuses on elite academics and outstanding personal leadership development.
Admiral Farragut Academy is a K-12 private, coed, international college preparatory school with a world-renowned boarding school program on the water in tropical St. Petersburg, Florida, close to beaches and a vibrant downtown harbor.