Girl finds 15-million-year-old megalodon tooth while fossil hunting with family

9-year-old has collected more than 400 fossils, report says

Girl finds 15-million-year-old megalodon tooth while fossil hunting with family

SOLOMONS, Md. – A 9-year-old who aspires to be a paleontologist made an impressive discovery on Christmas Day thanks to a new present.

Molly Sampson wanted a pair of insulated wading boots for Christmas and after opening them Christmas morning, she took off with her family to test them out at Calvert Cliffs State Park in Maryland.

Molly, her dad Bruce and older sister Natalie went fossil hunting during the low tide and Molly ended up with a find of a lifetime — a five-inch, 15-million-year-old megalodon tooth.

“We’re wading out in the water, and I looked over and I looked down in the water and I saw it, and I reached in and grabbed it,” Molly told NBC4.

Molly’s mother, Alicia Sampson, told NPR that her husband has been fossil hunting since he was a kid and dreams of finding large teeth but his biggest find was a 3-inch tooth that looks like a “baby tooth” compared to his daughter’s discovery.

Stephen Godfrey, curator of paleontology at the Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons, Maryland confirmed the tooth was real.

“It’s one of the larger ones that’s probably ever been found along Calvert Cliffs” Godfrey told NPR. He also said it might be a “once-in-a-lifetime kind of find.”

Godfrey told NPR that the tooth came from the upper left jaw of a megalodon that was probably 45 to 50 feet long and lived about 15 million years ago.

Megalodons hunted whales and dolphins with their specialized, serrated teeth and were incapable of swallowing prey whole.

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About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.