On my page, a History of the Indian River, I detail how the ending of the age of glaciers, triggered the rise in sea levels and eventually the flooding of the ghost lagoons under the Atlantic and eventually the flooding of the lagoons we know and love: The Banana and Indian Rivers & Mosquito Lagoon.
I have also traced the still visible stream banks of the fresh water rivers or creeks that once flowed across the broad prairie before rising ocean broke over the barrier islands to create the current lagoon system.
I assume the streams and prairie drew game and the always present predators (two and four legged)
Giant sloth at Sam's House park, Merritt Island Florida
The first shell middens of salt water shells appear on the shores of the Lagoon system approximately 5000 years ago. I don't have an exact date of first saltwater intrusion or when salt water oyster and clams colonized the current lagoon, so I took a silly wild guess at 7000 years before present as the first flooding.
By this time, Native Americans had been hunting in Florida for approximately 7000 years
Ice age spear point along the shore of the Indian River exposed by the last hurricane
With a little imagination, I attempted to place myself on the site of the flooding of the game rich prairie.
And so my fictitious eye witness account...
Please forgive my adding the mammoth family. Why not? There is not really an exact date set for the last Florida mammoth.....So I am picking the date.
Ridge west of Merritt Island, East Coast of Florida; seven thousand years before present.
Skins-Llama stood upon the sandy ridge overlooking the bowl shaped prairie and the willow lined stream that twisted snake-like through the close cropped grasslands.
At length he squatted holding his two darts and shell topped dart thrower ready to hurl flint-topped death because the panicked animals below him could at any moment turn uphill towards him as had the recent wolf pack.
Never had the stream crossing seen such use he marveled. The bison ford, a favorite ambush spot of his, his father and grandfather before him. Skins-Llama was aware that never again would the favorite ambush spot be used. His would be the last kill.
As if running from a smoky grass fire, herds of horses and llamas splashed across the stream, looked south and sometimes even racing back across the water. Chaos reigned- nothing like this had ever happened before. Turkeys ran along the stream then flew over the water when spooked by six running bison. A jaguar slipped across the ford without a splash completely ignored by the horses, this followed by a great lumbering bear ignored by both cat and horse.
A panicked llama swam the stream away from the ford and was immediately pulled into a death roll by grandfather alligator. Deer and more wolves crowded through the ford and a small deer was pulled into the water with a great splash.
The animals fled as if from a fire, however there was no smoke on the horizon, flocks of ibis and cranes took flight at the approaching danger. The secretive animals, foxes, rabbits and bobcats appeared, ignoring the ford and running towards the north and hoped for sanctuary. A young panther appeared from the willows to grab a rabbit, and sprint north following the trail of fox and bobcat, squealing rabbit still held in whiskered mouth.
Skins-Llama opened his eyes wide in surprise as a family of mammoths appeared from the willows and crossed the stream. Mammoths had not been seen since the time of his talented grandfather known by the clans as ‘Ivory-carver’. These were the first of the legendary giant beasts ever alive seen by Skin-Lama. Old skins, chalky skulls, but never a live Mammoth!
Below the feet of the shaggy mammoths, the prairie grasslands disappeared as a tide of water swelled out of the stream to spread over the cropped vegetation. As would an animal bleed red when struck by his dart; the stream bled as if the very earth bled out water. In a matter of minutes the water was so wide he could not cast his spear across the flood.
Through the waters the mammoths strolled unfazed while a multitude of small animals were carried by the slow flood, opossums, raccoons, turtles and peccaries. Alligators appeared from the willows unfazed at the change in the water.
On the far side of the flood, llamas, deer and horses as on his side; the grazers fled the rising water running towards the forest edge away from the grass lands. A sloth even taller than the mammoths sloshed its way onto dry land with its own contingent of small animal refugees clinging to the stiff fur of its back.
The water was seawater he knew; for the east prairie had flooded less than a moon-rise ago, eventually topping off creating a vast inland sea and finally spilling over into the prairie below him. The result was that the land on the far side of the flood-tide was now an island.
Skins-Llama watched as the flood grew wider and the alligators pulled the small animals under water and the willow trees poking from the flood were decorated with crawling climbing things; briefly he wondered if the water would keep rising and cover the ridge he stood upon. Would the water swallow the world? If such was the creators wish, it had happened before, because ocean shells and sharks teeth could be found inland…..So be it. However assuming the water would stop below him he contemplated how to cross over to the new island to hunt llama and horse.
Below him the mammoths climbed out of the rising water. Skins-Llama notched his dart to dart thrower and walked downhill his belly growling
The small mammoth guarded by the herd was more meat than his people could use in a week, but he would as always, share his kill with the wolf and eagle. His clan would once again feast on mammoth. Skins-Mammoth his knew name.
Outside of his sight, the prairie still continued to flood, a great salt lagoon in the making.
Okay, so it was a little simple, however the point of the point of the story was describing the "great flood" & how it was made.
Could be complete BS But I had fun writing the story.
Will add photos as I get time.
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