Elephants in Panama?

Dr. John M. Turner, an optometrist from Hattiesburg, MS, grew up in the Panama Canal Zone.  As a youth he collected fossils as a hobby.  Dr. Turner shared his fossils, including the tooth of a Gomphotherium (extinct relative of the elephant) during a chance encounter with PCP PIRE Principal Investigator Bruce MacFadden.  This exciting new find, and the story behind it, was profiled in two parts in the PCP PIRE eNewsletter (Part 1 | Part 2).  Dr. Turner’s fossil finds were also recently profiled in the Hattiesburg American.  We are grateful to Dr. Turner for his generosity with his fossil finds and his willingness to tell his story.
Below is a flickr album with photos provided by Dr. Turner from his time in Panama. Click on the image below for a slideshow, or follow this link for them to appear in a separate window with captions.

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About Cristina Robins

The mission of the Panama Canal Project - Partnerships in International Research and Education [PCP PIRE] is to advance knowledge of the extinct faunas and floras of the ancient Neotropics based on the new fossil discoveries along the Canal. Consistent with NSF's PIRE program objectives, university students (undergraduate and graduate), postdocs, and faculty are engaging in PCP paleontological, geological, and biological research and Broader Impacts outreach. The ultimate outcome of the PCP PIRE will be to promote discovery and advance knowledge while training the next generation of scientists better able to engage in international experiences.

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