She took it home to show it to her 22-year-old brother, Sean, a geology student at the University of South Florida. After some Internet research, the siblings came to two conclusions: The football-sized rock was actually the tooth of a long-extinct mammoth, and they were in over their heads.
The family contacted area paleontology and archaeology experts, who confirmed the pair's assessment.
They quickly alerted county park officials, who converged on the site, working secretly for the past four weeks.
To date, they have found teeth and bones from 12 species, including giant sloths, camels, turtles with shells 5- to 6-feet long, saber-toothed cats, horses, and giant armadillos the size of Volkswagen Beetles.
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