Vero Beach, on Florida's east coast, is where I grew up and went to high school. We knew there was an archaeological dig site from an old Native American find called Vero Man: I even did a little hunting around the area in hopes of coming across something the experts might have missed (no luck).
However, an amateur fossil hunter has put Vero on the scientific map. His find: a 10-12,000 year old bone engraved with a mammoth or mastodon. One anthropologist, Dr. Barbara Purdy, called the discovery by James Kennedy “the oldest, most spectacular, and rare work of art in the Americas.”
COMMENT: In addition to a chance to nod to my home town, this story points up a common theme of mine: that the amateur still has an important role in science. Congratulations, Mr. Kennedy!