Mastodon Tooth Found On Beach In US Town, Handed Over To Museum
The largest molar found by a beachgoer in Santa Cruz County, USA has been handed over to a local museum. The massive Ice Age tooth belonged to a mastodon, a prehistoric relative of today’s elephants. According to local news station KRON4, the foot-long tooth was discovered by a tourist on Friday on a beach in Rio del Mar near Aptos Creek. He took a photo of the strange object and left it on the beach and uploaded the pictures to Facebook to find out what it was.
The photo created a debate on social media sites and many paleontologists claimed it was a mastodon tooth.
“I practically hit the floor. It’s a mastodon tooth, and we know that mastodons lived in Santa Cruz County,” Wayne Thompson, paleontology collection consultant for the Santa Cruz County Museum of Natural History, told the outlet.
Local residents and museum officials came to the beach and tried to relocate the molar, but a local resident had already taken it home, KRON4 reported.
The public was invited to put it back in the museum.
On Tuesday, local resident Jim Smith called the museum after seeing a story about the tooth on the news and said he found it while jogging on the beach.
View this post on Instagram
“He was so excited to hear it was a mastodon tooth that he was eager to share it with the museum,” Liz Broughton, the museum’s visitor experience manager, was quoted as saying by the New York Post.
The tooth will now be examined in a museum before officials put it on display for the public.