On Christmas Day, a nine-year-old girl discovered a rare fossil on a Maryland beach in what experts describe as a “once-in-a-lifetime experience.” Molly Sampson went to Calvert Beach and told her mother she was “looking for a Meg.”
She waded through knee-deep water and found precisely what she was looking for: a tooth from the now-extinct Otodus Megalodon shark. It was five inches long, his mother, Alicia Sampson, wrote on Facebook about the prize-winning discovery. Megalodon, the ancient Greek word for “big tooth,” went extinct 3.5 million years ago. During its time, it lived in oceans all over the world. At over 66 feet (20 m) long, this species is the giant shark in the world.
“She told me she was wading in knee-deep water when she saw it and dove in to get it,” her mother said. “She said she got her arms all wet, but it was so worth it.”
“She has always wanted to find a ‘Meg,’ but for whatever reason, she spoke it into existence on Christmas morning,” her mother told CBS. The Department of Paleontology at the Calvert Marine Museum confirmed the shark’s identity and congratulated the “future paleontologist” on Facebook.
“People should not get the impression that teeth like this one are common along Calvert Cliffs,” Stephen Godfrey, the museum’s curator of paleontology, said.
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