5-year-old girl digs up rare 160-year-old fossil with plastic shovel

Party Rooster

Unleash The Beast
Oh, Uncle Paleolithic...;)

'Dad, look what I found!' How girl, 5, dug up rare 160m-year-old fossil with spade

By Claire Ellicott
Last updated at 2:32 AM on 13th September 2011

She was armed with a spade better suited to building sandcastles than archaeological digs.

But that was all five-year-old Emily Baldry needed to unearth a rare fossil thought to be more than 160million years old. Emily pulled the 9st specimen out of the ground at Cotswold Water Park in Gloucestershire with the help of her father Jon, 40.

The Rieneckia odysseus fossil, which is almost 16in in diameter, is the remains of a mollusc that lived in the oceans during the Jurassic period.

Emily Baldry with the 160 million-year-old Rieneckia odysseus fossil, and the space she unearthed it with

Buried treasure: Jon Baldry and his daughter Emily, then five, with the mollusc she unearthed beside a lake


Ammonites became extinct 65million years ago
In medieval Europe, people belived them to be fossilised snakes due to their coiled appearance, and named them 'snakestones'
A modern sea species called the nautilus is their closest living relative
There are roughly 7,500 species of ammonites and they are the most common of all fossils, though the one found by Emily is very rare

The fossilised sea creature has a spiral-patterned shell with inch-long bristles jutting from it to ward off predators – and which inspired Emily to nickname it ‘Spike’. It was encased in a block of mudstone when it was found, so Emily passed it on to geologist Neville Hollingworth for restoration.

She was reunited with it on Sunday at the Gateway Information Centre near Cirencester, where Spike is on display.

Emily, from Chippenham, Wiltshire, said: ‘It is so exciting to see him. I was very happy when I first saw him and now he looks very shiny.’

Her father added: ‘It is breathtaking how much work has gone into restoring Spike. After it has been displayed here we will bring it back home but it will be tricky to store because we have small children and it is very spiky.’

Emily, now six, made the discovery in March last year during her first archaeological dig.

Dr Hollingworth, who spent a year restoring the fossil, said: ‘This is the first ammonite of this kind to be discovered whole in Britain. The rest have all been fragments.’



The Godfather

Spark it up for The Godfather and say!!!!!
" 5-year-old girl digs up rare 160-year-old fossil with plastic shovel "

Probably a little more than 160 years, bro