11-year-old girl finds 475-million-year-old fossil in a Tennessee lake


Finding ancient fossils is no easy task, even for seasoned paleontologists and other researchers who spend their lives guessing where they might uncover the leftovers of some long-dead creature. An 11-year-old girl from Tennessee managed to do just that, and she wasn’t even trying. Young Ryleigh Taylor discovered the fossilized remains of a trilobite, a long-extinct group of arthropods which were found in Earth’s waters many millions of years ago.

The fossil was sitting along the shore of Douglas Lake in Tennessee, and it just happened to catch Ryleigh’s eye as she was walking along. The fossil is thought to be some 475 million years old, dating back to the Paleozoic Era of Earth’s history.

“To find something like that, it’s really really cool,” she told local news station WATE. “I looked down while I was walking and I found it, I just saw it.”

Not knowing exactly what they had on their hands, the girl’s family reached out to researchers at the University of Tennessee who were able to confirm that it was indeed a fossil, and a pretty special one at that. – READ MORE

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