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July 17, 2016 Weekly Geology Guess

July 17, 2016

Greetings from the Bluff Park   Porch, way up yonder on Shades Mountain (1,109′) in Alabama:

My discussion on Alabama Geology will continue with Alabama Fossils.


Minerals and Rocks – The Good Life from the Ground


“If it ain’t grown, it has to be mined”

Alabama Fossils


And believe you me, we are blessed with all types of fossils.  But finding them in the kudzu can be difficult.

Fossils | Encyclopedia of Alabama

Sharks, Alligators, Elephants, Bears, Cats, and Dogs.

Megladon:  Yes, the big shark apparently did cruise Alabama waters, albeit teeth are scarce.

And yes, not that long ago, pre-historic, we had jaguars, mountain lions, bears, and wolves roaming our hills and hollers.   We still occasionally find 15 foot alligators in ponds near you, well sloughs.  And maybe the coy-wolf?

Other critters included horses, camels, mammoths, tapirs and peccaries.

  Some went extinct at the end of the last Ice Age or in pre-historic times, some survived and are doing well, while others are hanging in there.

Alabama Jaguars

No, not the Jaguar sports teams, and not the Jaguar sportscar.

Jaguar – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Most people associate the jaguar (scientific name Felis onca) with Central and South America. Indeed, its historic range includes much of Central and South America as well as parts of Mexico and portions of the extreme southern United States. During the last Ice Age, however, this large cat was also found in much of the southern half of the United States.

The jaguar is the largest member of the cat family living today in the western hemisphere. Modern jaguars range in weight from 36 to 158 kg (80 to 350 lbs). During the last Ice Age, the jaguars found in the United States were even larger than this. Some may have weighed up to 190 kg (420 lbs).

Alabama Mountain Lions or Cougars

Cougar – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In pre-historic times, it apparently ranged throughout the state.

Current sightings in Alabama are extremely rare.

Alabama Wolves  > Red Wolf

Personal Account from the 1950’s, Lamar County, Alabama, a great uncle McDaniel, that lived in a dog trot cabin near Yellow Creek bottom.  He did some trapping and stated that there were wolves out there.  Apparently this red wolf population was one of the few that survived into modern times.  Most have bred with coyotes.


The Coywolf is a recent addition (1919) to our ever changing animal life.  Interesting mixtures (plural) of some combo of gray wolves, western coyotes, red wolf, and domestic dog.

Personal Account from 2013, SW Bibb County, near the Cahaba River.  While going to a job site a large canid ran across an adjacent CBM well pad.  It was definitely larger than any coyote that I have seen and had a reddish ruff.  Definitely would not want to meet him on that dirt road late at night.

Black Bears

Alabama Black Bear Sightings

Tales from the first white settler in Jones Valley, now Birmingham, were that they were plentiful and good eatin’.


Mammoths and Mastadons

Yep, elephants in Alabama.  They probably lasted until 10,000 to 12,000 years ago.  Climate Change?  and/or the new hunter — Humans.



“The Devil is in the Detail”

This is what is so exciting about geological science.  It is like an endless mystery movie.


References include:

–    Wikipedia


Editors Note:  It is the intent of this site to keep this discussion as simple as possible, so as to educate the interested general public and not to discuss with the geology crowd the latest geologic theories and nuances.  Thanks, R


Megladon and Whale

Megladon and Great White Jaw. National Geographic

Megladon and large Great White Jaws from National Geographic

Megladon - 6-5.8. Fossil Great White, 3-1.8. Great While, 1-1.2 inch teeth. Amazing Geologist

Megladon Tooth at 6-5/8″, Fossil Great White at 3-1/8″, and Great White at 1-1/2″ from Amazing Geologist

Jaguar. from Amazing Facts and Nature

Jaguar. from Amazing Facts and Nature

RedWolf. Photo Credit Barron CrawfordU.S. Fish - Wildlife Service

RedWolf. Photo Credit Barron CrawfordU.S. Fish – Wildlife Service



AL. Black Bear and Cub.

AL. Black Bear and Cub.

AL.  Wooly Mammoth. Ruffner Mt. Nature Ctr.

AL. Wooly Mammoth. Ruffner Mt. Nature Ctr.

Mammoth Skeleton. by Unknown.

Mammoth Skeleton. by Unknown.



Who knows where we will wander in the fossil kingdom next week.





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