A science enthusiast, Valerie Varnuska of Westbury, NY discovered a passion for fossils. Valerie Varnuska makes an effort to learn more about fossils by staying current on paleontology work happening in America.
In recent news, a pair of teachers from Santa Cruz City Schools in California uncovered large fossils of a Miocene Epoch-era gomphotherium elephant. The fossils were found during a dig in Gainesville, Florida, and consisted of the elephant’s rib and neck vertebra as well as the tusk and humerus. Teachers Erin Petersen Lindberg and Rebecca Mussetter worked alongside scientists from the University of Florida in a program funded by the National Science Foundation, which aims to enhance education in paleontology within middle and high school curriculums.
Fossils of the prehistoric elephant have been found as far south as Panama. The animal’s journey to North America from the Old World extended north toward California and continued on to other regions of the United States, where fossilized remains of the elephant rest. Unlike elephants with origins from Africa and Asia, the Miocene Epoch-era gomphotherium elephant was much smaller in size and had four conical tusks.