Tusks to Tails: A Fossil History of Florida - Tampa Bay History Center | Kids Out and About Tampa

Tusks to Tails: A Fossil History of Florida - Tampa Bay History Center

*The event has already taken place on this date: Sat, 07/31/2021
Did you know that ancient sharks that could grow up to 60 feet long swam in Florida waters, or that giant rhinos roamed the state millions of years ago? How do we know? The latest exhibit at the Tampa Bay History Center unearths Florida’s fossil finds. “Tusks to Tails: A Fossil History of Florida” showcases dozens of fossils found throughout the state, some dating back more than 50 million years.

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Mammoth jaws, walrus tusks, a sloth hand, even a whale skeleton, are on display.

“This is our first natural history exhibit,” says Dr. Brad Massey, the History Center’s curator of public history. “It’s a different look at Florida’s very early history, even before humans were here.”

The History Center worked with the University of South Florida’s Digital Heritage & Humanities Collections to create topographical 3D maps for the exhibit to help illustrate the layers – literally – of time presented in the exhibit.

“This exhibit chronicles how the Florida coastline, and the animals that lived here, changed over the last 55 million years,” says Massey.

The exhibit includes fossils on loan from the Florida Museum of Natural History as well as private collectors.

“Tusks to Tails: A Fossil History of Florida” is on exhibit beginning Saturday, Jan. 23 and will remain on view through Jan. 2022.

The History Center continues to follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and local health experts. Face masks are required for entry into the museum galleries. To minimize interaction with staff, advance tickets should be purchased online at tampabayhistorycenter.org/tickets, while details on the History Center’s COVID protocols can be found at tampabayhistorycenter.org/policiesandprocedures.

Call 813.228.0097, or visit our website, tampabayhistorycenter.org, for more information.

*Times, dates, and prices of any activity posted to our calendars are subject to change. Please be sure to click through directly to the organization’s website to verify.


801 Old Water Street (formerly St. Pete Times Forum Drive)
Tampa, FL, 33602
United States


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10am - 5pm
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