Paleontologist Frank Garcia, who in 1983 discovered hundreds of ice age species in a Ruskin mine now known as the Leisey Shell Pit, shared his expertise with sixth-grade students at St. Paul's School in Clearwater.
During his Oct. 5 visit, he answered many questions and left many of his treasures, including hominid skulls, for display in the middle school's art case.
Garcia became interested in fossils as a boy and has since uncovered thousands of fossils and discovered some 30 previously unknown prehistoric species.
He has worked with the Smithsonian Institution, where some of his finds are displayed.
This is Garcia's seventh visit. He keeps coming back because "the students here at St. Paul's School have always showed great interest in my field of paleontology."
His time is split between managing Paleo Preserve in Ruskin and conducting private fossil-hunting tours on his Nebraska ranch.