Jan Bartek – AncientPages.com – This must be a find of a lifetime! Sammy Shelton, a six-year-old boy in Uk went out looking for shells on Bawdsey Beach in Suffolk. Instead, he found a four-inch tooth that belonged to a huge 3,000,000-year-old megalodon shark.
Megalodon, meaning “big tooth”, is an extinct species of mackerel shark that lived approximately 23 to 3.6 million years ago, from the Early Miocene to the Pliocene epochs. The shark whose name means ‘big tooth’ could grow up to 67 feet long. The megalodon had 250 thick teeth designed to grab prey and break its bones, including whales.
Sammy is now so pleased with the find that he now sleeps with it next to his bed. The boy took “his ancient fossil into school for show and tell, and has also earned a special ‘explorer’ badge from his local Beavers group since finding the tooth,” the Metro UK reports.
Model of megalodon shark jaws at the American Museum of Natural History, in New York. Credit: Spotty11222 – Public Domain
His dad Peter Shelton, 60, said: ‘People have said it’s a once-in-a-lifetime discovery.
“Really we were looking for interesting shells on the beach but instead we got this megalodon tooth.
It was huge and very heavy. I knew what it was but it wasn’t until I took it to others looking on the beach that I realized the significance.
There was one guy down there who’s been looking all his life for a megalodon tooth and never found anything of this size.’
Evolutionary biologist Ben Garrod, who works at UEA, checked pictures of the tooth and said it was once of just a handful found in Britain each year.
Sammy is now keen to get back down to the beach to dig up more potential fossils.
Peter said: “At the moment he’s keeping it by his bedside.
He’s taken it in to school and to Beavers to show his friends.
Sammy wants to go back again. He likes being outside.”
It is an incredible discovery for a small child, and who knows maybe one day it will encourage him to study fossils.
Written by Jan Bartek – AncientPages.com Staff Writer