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A six-year-old boy has found a three-million-year-old megalodon shark tooth while looking for shells on a beach in the UK.
Metro reports that the child, Sammy Shelton found the four-inch tooth while exploring Bawdsey Beach in Suffolk, a popular spot for fossil hunters.
Sammy’s dad Peter Shelton, a retired GP from Bradwell, Norfolk, revealed his son was so delighted by his discovery that he now sleeps with the tooth next to his bed, according to Daily Mail UK.
He said: “Really we were looking for interesting shells on the beach but instead we got this megalodon tooth.
“It was huge and very heavy. I knew what it was but it wasn't until I took it to others looking on the beach that I realised the significance.
“There was one guy down there who's been looking all his life for a megalodon tooth and never found anything of this size.”
His father also said that Sammy loves bringing the megalodon fossil into school, amusing all of his friends and has even received an explorer badge from his local Beavers group upon finding the tooth.
Evolutionary biologist Ben Garrod told the Great Yarmouth Mercury that he has been searching for a megalodon fossil since he was Sammy's age but has been unsuccessful.
“This little boy is the first person to touch this in nearly three million years.
“He is handling the tooth of the largest ever predatory shark and one that will be of interest to the whole palaeontology community.”
The tooth, which belongs to the biggest shark and fish ever to exist, roamed the earth over 3.6 million years ago and contained 250 sharp teeth used to prey on other large fish.
The whale-killing shark could grow to 20 meters (67 feet) long, three times bigger than any great white shark, according to the Natural History Museum’s website.
While tackling its prey, the shark could open its mouth approximately 2.7 by 3.4 meters long, easily swallowing two adult humans.
Curator of the Natural History Museum's fossil fish collection Emma Bernard shared that many megalodon teeth have been located in North America due to the age of the rocks.
She said: “We can find lots of their teeth off the east coast of North America, along the coasts and at the bottom of saltwater creeks and rivers of North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida.”
Bernard added: “They are also quite common off the coast of Morocco and parts of Australia. They can even be found in the UK near Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex.”
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