A young British boy digging for worms has discovered a fossil believed to be up to 488 million years old, in his garden.
Siddak Singh Jhamat, aged 6, and a resident of the town of Walsall near Birmingham in the UK’s West Midlands spoke to local media to announce that he was “excited” with his find and initially seemed a little overawed at media response to his discovery.
Later though, he added “I was just digging for worms and things like pottery and bricks and I just came across this rock which looked a bit like a horn, and thought it could be a tooth or a claw or a horn, but it was actually a piece of coral which is called horn coral.”
Sid, as he is known locally, then turned to his father for help and Mr. Singh senior was able to ID the find as a type of horn coral with the aid of a fossil group he belongs to on social media.
Mr. Singh has estimated the age of the fossil to be somewhere between 251 and 488 million years in age, in part because of markings on the fossil that likely identify it as a Rugosa coral.
“The period that they existed from was between 500 and 251 million years ago, the Paleozoic Era,” he added, explaining the presence of coral in a part of the UK far from the coast as “England at the time was part of Pangea, a landmass of continents. England was all underwater as well… that’s quite significant expanse of time.”