The fossil of a 475-million-year old trilobite has been uncovered, by fortune, by a girl in eastern Tennessee. Ryleigh Taylor, aged 11, noticed the 475 million-year-old fossil as she wandered along Lake Douglas.
“To find something like this, it’s really great. I looked down as I walked down and found it, I just saw it,” storied Ryleigh. Next, for clarification, her family approached Colin Sumrall, a University of Tennessee professor of paleobiology.
“Actually, it’s quite unusual for anyone to find a fossil,” said Sumrall.
Sumrall reports that the girl found a fossil of a trilobite, ancient marine creatures which crawled in the eastern Tennessee waters in Paleozoic
More specifically, the trilobites were arthropods which dominated the seas and oceans of the Paleozoic era, between 542 million years ago and 251 million years ago.
They were, at their time, the most widespread life form on Earth, with about 17,000 species identified so far by scientists. Trilobites could reach lengths ranging from 1 millimeter to the giant, extremely rare, 70 centimeters in length. An average length of trilobites oscillated between 3 and 10 centimeters.
Ryleigh hopes kids her age will follow her example and will start wandering in nature
Now, Ryleigh is counting that her discovery will make other teens to ditch staying indoors and get a good taste of the outdoors hiking and wandering.
“I can show kids my age that they don’t have to sit inside and play. In fact, they can go out and find different things,” said Ryleigh.
On the other hand, Colin Sumrall said that this kind of discovery, regardless of the age of the discoverer, would help in a future career. Referring to Ryleigh, Sumrall admitted that this girl could become a great paleontologist in the future.
Now, we can’t tell what Ryleigh Taylor will do for a living in the future but discovering a 475-million-year old fossil of a trilobite while wandering in eastern Tennessee is a huge finding which, indeed, might expose her to a bright future.