MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – One Lexington, North Carolina man stumbled upon a mastodon molar fossil while on vacation in Myrtle Beach this week.
News13 spoke with that North Carolina man and a local paleontologist to discover why that less common fossil was found on our beaches, and if we could see more soon.
The Carliles wanted souvenirs to take back with them after their vacation to Myrtle Beach last week.
“We went down to Myrtle hoping to find some seashells or shark teeth while we were there,” said Chon Carlile, an outdoor hobbyist who found the mastodon fossil.
They found it along the beach near 9th Ave. South and the Captain’s Quarters Resort.
“This actually just rolled in with the waves, saw a black object coming back towards me, I just reached out and grabbed it, thinking it was trash, examined it a little bit more and noticed they had some markings and patterns in it and I knew I had found something,” said Carlile.
This shows that others around that area may need to keep a watch over what they find.
“What that would possibly tell us is there might be more of that mammoth further off-shore, and for people that are collecting to keep their eyes open when they’re in that area,” said Donald Kirkpatrick, the Museum Associate in Paleontology at the Horry County Museum.
And why could Carlile have found that fossil? Kirkpatrick says beach renourishment has something to do with it.
“Fossils that are off-shore and sediments that are off-shore are being brought in to the beach were people can collect stuff,” said Kirkpatrick.
In fact, Carlile says he saw the city dredging the week they vacationed.
“We had actually seen the ship out there from our hotel that was doing the dredging or whatever it was,” he said.
For now, Carlile’s got the molar and is enjoying showing it off.
“I have it on display at my apartment, I’ve been showing all my friends and family,” he said. “Everybody’s been bored to death with the stories.