Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Rare Fossil Find Makes NC Museum of Life and Science That Much More Interesting

Jesse Duncan is a pretty lucky kid. 

While on a recent trip to the Museum of Life and Science (MLS) in Durham, he found an extremely rare fossil worth big bucks...and he gets to keep it.  The MLS has a fossil dig site on its Dinosaur Trail exhibit where visitors can dig in phosphate dirt from a mine in Aurora, NC and are likely to find the remains of ancient sharks, whales, bony fish, corals, shells and other invertebrates that are 23 million to 5 million years old. 

Jesse hit pay dirt with his fossil of a symphesial cow shark tooth.  He heralded his find with “Mom, look what I found. Something cool!”  

Not knowing what is was at the time, his mom, Amanda, turned to the internet, posted a picture in a fossil forum.  “I posted an image along with a description where the fossil was found and responses poured in. One collector described the piece as the “Holy Grail” of sharks teeth. Collectors were especially in awe by the fossil’s pristine condition. There are no teeth missing. This is a rare find,” she said.

The MLS welcomed more than 440,000 visitors last year and is lauded as one of the best family friendly museums in the Southeastern US with informational displays, participatory exhibits, and acres of outdoor installations with which visitors young and old can interact including live animals in natural habitats, a butterfly house and the aforementioned Dinosaur Trail.

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