Teatable Key, Florida
The Florida Keys are a chain of small limestone islands extending 150 miles southwest from Miami. Their foundations mainly include two Pleistocene formations: elevated coral rock (Key Largo Limestone) and oölitic limestone (Miami Limestone). Located among the upper Keys, Teatable was occupied by Native Americans over 1,000 years ago. Mid-19th Century Americans built a fort; today, the Key hosts a beach and residences.
This incredibly rich biogenic sample, dredged off the Key in the 1960s, includes skeletal remains of reef dwellers: chain-like sections of coralline algae and tent-shaped barnacles (center). Molluscs are abundant and include the tapered tubes, lower left, which are sand-dwelling tusk shells (scaphopods). Bivalves are present too; but gastropods dominate in all colors, shapes and sculpturings. Snail shells range from cap-like limpets to translucent ovals and tall, knobbed or ridged spires. Drill holes in shells, like the one top center, are evidence of predation.