Teacher Stumbles Upon ‘Incredible’ 300-Million-Year-Old Fossil While Walking Dog on Beach

“A fossil like this comes up every 50 years or 100 years,” geologist and paleontologist John Calder told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation about the discovery

It’s not every day that fossils are found on Prince Edward Island in Canada, but one woman did just that while walking her dog on the beach.

School teacher Lisa Cormier was venturing down the shoreline at Cape Egmont in August when she came across what she initially believed were intertwined roots poking out of the sand, according to the Canadian Press.

But upon further inspection, she realized she had come across something unique.

“When I looked closer at it, I realized that there were ribs,” she told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. “And then I saw the spine, and the skull.”

Geologist and paleontologist John Calder was among the experts contacted after Cormier’s find on the island’s south shore.

Last month, the author of Island at the Centre of the World — a book about Prince Edward Island’s geological heritage — shared photos on Facebook of the “huge effort” to uncover the fossil.

On Aug. 26, Parks Canada employees were able to remove the fossil, taking it to a facility in Greenwich, where it will remain until it’s moved to a paleontology lab, per CBC.

The fossil seems to date back toward the end of the Carboniferous period and into the Permian period, which took place about 300 million years ago, Calder told the news agency.

Those time periods occurred before the Jurassic period and the existence of dinosaurs, according to the expert.

“A fossil like this comes up every 50 years or 100 years,” he said, per the news agency. “I mean there’s no real frequency, but it’s rare. And this could be a one-of-a-kind fossil in the tree of life … of evolution of amphibians, to reptiles, to mammals to us.”

On his book’s Facebook page, Calder suggested the animal is “likely an early and possibly previously unknown reptile.” He also made a similar suggestion to The Washington Post.

“To think that I found something that might be 300 million years old, it’s incredible,” Cormier said during a CBC interview.

Only two articulated skeletons — in which bones are located in proper order — have ever been found on Prince Edward Island, according to CTV News Atlantic.

Speaking to the Canadian Press, Cormier said that potentially “making history” felt “amazing.”

“Maybe it will be named after me,” she told the news agency. “And if it is something that we have never seen before, it will redefine the history of science. So it’s pretty cool.”

Sia

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