(DANDRIDGE, Tenn.) — A Tennessee girl’s discovery while out walking was eons in the making.
WATE-TV reports 11-year-old Ryleigh Taylor was walking around the shore of Douglas Lake in Dandridge when she found a 475-million-year-old fossil.
The station reports her family reached out to Colin Sumrall, an associate professor of paleobiology at the University of Tennessee to confirm the find. Sumrall said Ryleigh found a trilobite, an extinct marine animal.
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Sumall says it’s unusual to find a trilobite fossil with all its pieces intact.
Ryleigh says she hopes the discovery inspires other children to go out, enjoy nature and see what they can find.
She doesn’t plan to keep the fossil because she wants to see it displayed in a museum so other people can enjoy it.