A six-year-old boy from the United States discovered an extremely rare mastodon – a prehistoric ancestor of the modern elephant – a tooth fossil while visiting a nature reserve with his parents. About 10,000 years ago, the mastodon, an ancient creature, inhabited North and Central America.
The boy, Julian Gagnon, discovered the tooth at Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve in Rochester Hills, Michigan in September. Speaking to a CNN affiliate, Julian said he just felt something under his foot and grabbed it, adding that it looked like a tooth.
He added that his first thought was that he would get a million dollars for the discovery. However, he only managed to get a behind-the-scenes tour of a paleontology museum and some advice on his future career.
Researchers at the University of Michigan Paleontology Museum confirmed that it was a tooth from a young mastodon. This is a rare find, WDIV cited them.
“At first I thought I was going to make some money. I was going to get a million dollars, ”Julian said.
Mastodon fossils are very difficult to find, said Abby Drake, of the Museum of Natural History at the University of Michigan.
When an animal dies, most of the time it is recovered, she told the channel. “I’m a little jealous, personally, because finding fossils is something I wish I could do every day,” she added.
Julian said he wanted to be an archaeologist, but now he’s changed his mind. I think it was a sign that I am going to become a paleontologist, he said.
The mastodon tooth will be donated to the University of Michigan Paleontology Museum.