An 11 year old girl Ryleigh could find the leftover of a long-dead creature. The girl Ryleigh Taylor from Tennessee discovered the fossilized remains of a trilobite did while she was not trying for it.
Trilobite, is a long-extinct group of arthropods which were found in Earth’s waters several of the millions of years ago. The fossil was found along the shore of Douglas Lake in Tennessee when Ryleigh’s was walking along.
According to the experts, fossil could be some 475 million years old, dating back to the Paleozoic Era of history of the Earth.
Ryleigh feels it cool to find something like that.
The girl’s family, being un aware of the facts of the thing their daughter find, took the fossil to researchers at the University of Tennessee.
Researchers confirmed that it was indeed a special fossil. An associate professor of paleobiology Colin Sumrall said, “Typically when we look at fossils of trilobites, they molt when they grow”. He also added “So what happens is, when the trilobite skeleton just crumbles into hundreds of little pieces. To find one where all the pieces are intact, it’s actually a pretty lucky find.”
Going back to explain Trilobites. Trilobites were actually an incredibly successful group of animals, the earliest examples of which date back over 500 million years. The marine creatures are said to be originated in what is today Serbia, but became widespread just after a short time, and fossils of this creatures could be found all over the world.
Trilobites lived approximately 270 million years before eventually going extinct, according to the researchers.
What prompted the extinction of Trilobites? Is not clear yet.
Ryleigh’s doesn’t plan on keep the fossil to herself because she wants to have it displayed at a museum for enjoyment of others.
Ryleigh’s is also hopeful that her discovery will show other kids of her age that going outside & exploring something can pay off.