Mammoth Tooth Fossil Found Near Rye, NH Harbor

First Posted: Feb 25, 2013 06:47 AM EST

Owner of a fishing vessel called Rimrack, Mike Anderson from New Hampshire made a very unusual catch while fishing for scallops at the south of Isles of Shoals. He spotted a 6-inch triangular-shaped tooth captured in the trawl amid a pile of shells and rocks.

"We pick through the scallop shells and throw a few rocks over and stuff and we ended up finding that tooth. If you ever had a tooth extracted, you could see where the nerve ending came off. There was a hole in it," Anderson was quoted as saying by Inquisitr.  

Anderson later contacted Dr. William Clyde, a geologist at the University of New Hampshire. Considering the small size of the tooth, Dr. Clyde concluded that the fossilized tooth belonged to a baby mammoth.

Anderson's discovery was later confirmed by The Huffington Post who consulted two mammoth experts, professor Daniel Fisher, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Michigan and professor Adrian Lister, a researcher at London's Natural History Museum.

Fisher states that the fossilized object is a mammoth's tooth. To spot such teeth offshore from New England is not uncommon because during the ice age, mammoths were common in parts of North America. Sea levels were lower than they are now and the current continental shelf was dry land and home to mammoths.

Professor Lister elaborates that the completely eroded object is recognized as a molar tooth of a woolly mammoth.

Prior to this, Anderson has found whale vertebrae, an old fuel tank, porpoise skulls and even the body of a drowned kayaker. 

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