California woman finds GIGANTIC mastodon tooth buried in sand on beach
· Jun 2, 2023 ·

A woman was strolling on a California beach this past Memorial Day weekend and noticed something strange poking out of the sand on the beach. She went to have a closer inspection and she found something she couldn't identify.

It was a foot-long fossil of some kind and the woman, Jennifer Schuh, took pictures of it trying to identify it, posting it on Facebook to ask friends to help.

The answer came from Wayne Thompson, paleontology collections advisor for the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History.

Thompson determined that the object was a worn molar from an adult Pacific mastodon, an extinct elephant-like species.

"This is an extremely important find," Thompson wrote, and he urged Schuh to call him.

Schuh, however, didn't pick up the tooth and take it with her. She just left it on the beach.

When she joined the Paleontologist the next day, they had a very difficult time finding the ancient tooth. They searched all weekend and couldn't find it. Someone had taken it.

Jim Smith is a regular jogger on the beach and he found the tooth after Schuh had left it, so he picked it up, thinking it was a cool artifact, and took it home.

But Smith saw the tooth on the news and called a local museum to turn it over to them.

The age of the tooth isn't clear. A museum blog says mastodons generally roamed California from about 5 million to 10,000 years ago.

"We can safely say this specimen would be less than 1 million years old, which is relatively ‘new' by fossil standards," Broughton said in an email.

1 million years old??

If you want more details, here's a local news story on this historic find.

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