Julian Gagnon, a six-year-old, was on an outing with his family at a natural reserve at Rochester Hills, christened as ‘Dinosaur Hill,’ when a random stroll turned out to be a very special discovery in the world of palaeontology. Julian discovered a 12,000-year-old piece of the tooth that belonged to a Mastodon, an elephant-like mammal that roamed the lands of North and Central America.
The ancient fossil found by Julian was similar to the size of a human hand. After the discovery, the researchers at the University of Michigan were informed, who then confirmed that the discovery was indeed an extraordinary addition to their collection of fossil relics.
“I felt something on my foot, and I grabbed it, and it kind of looked like a tooth. At first, I thought I was going to be rewarded a million dollars for the discovery. So embarrassing now,” Julian told WDIV while giggling at his innocence. “At first, I really wanted to be an archaeologist. But now, I think I am going to be a palaeontologist,” Julian added.
Watch the report here:
6-year-old Julian Gagnon was on a family walk in September when he made the incredible discovery of a mastodon tooth—and he’s donating the tooth to the University of Michigan!Click the link to see the full story: https://t.co/9xBrWEWMib🎥: Click on Detroit, Local 4 pic.twitter.com/N5pIjmBtC6
— University of Michigan Museum of Natural History (@UMMNH) October 2, 2021
According to the Local 4 report, Julian will donate the tooth at the University of Michigan Museum of Paleontologists. The researchers at the museum were thrilled to see such a rare find unearthed by a 6-year-old.
Abby Drake, University of Michigan Museum of Natural History, said, “I am a little jealous because mining fossils is something that I want to do every day. The find is extremely exciting since it is hard to find a preserved fossil since, after the death, most animals are scavenged.”
The 16-acre natural reserve, Dinosaur Hill, is a go-to place for parents and children to have a close encounter with nature and explore various flora and fauna. “The great thing about nature is you never know what you’re going to find. It can surprise you even if you’re not an expert,” said Amanda Felk, Director, Dinosaur Hill.