Karen B. London
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Dog Finds Fossils Of Giant Animals
Tortoise and woolly mammoth among discoveries
Webster with a reassembled fossil he discovered

Webster the Chihuahua-Dachshund mix didn’t listen when Frank Garcia kept calling him to come, and Garcia is now grateful for that. They were fossil hunting together when Webster became interested in a particular area and refused to come away from it. When Garcia investigated it, he found the fossilized remains of giant tortoise shells, elephant teeth, and the skull of a woolly mammoth.

The site is one of the most important giant tortoise fossil sites in the world, with the shells found in much larger quantities than in most places. Garcia has named the area “Webster’s Site” in recognition of the fact that Webster made the find. The tortoise shells there are relatives of the Galapagos Tortoise, only bigger. Once the fossils were reassembled, one tortoise was 51 inches long, 42 inches wide and 21 inches long. It probably weighed 700 to 800 pounds when alive.
Webster and Garcia often go on outings together. Though he is disabled and must drag himself around, Webster enjoys the fossil hunting. It turns out, he’s pretty good at it, too.



Karen B. London, PhD, is a Bark columnist and a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of serious behavior problems in the domestic dog.

Photo by Lois Kindle/The Tampa Tribune

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