Last week, a woman and her stepdaughter explored along the Nechako River near Prince George, British Columbia, and found something more unique than colored rocks.
Rachel Shill Cook and her 13-year-old stepdaughter Addison Shill pulled something different out of the dirt while hunting for agate.
“Usually when the weather is nice, we want to go for a walk and she is very passionate about finding agate, so we decided to take that opportunity,” Shill Cook said.
She said the river was low that day, allowing them to explore areas they wouldn’t normally see.
Shill Cook said she saw what she thought was agate, but when she dug it out of the mud it looked like a fossilized tooth.
She asked her stepdaughter what she thought it might be.
“She said, ‘Well, I don’t know, it looks like a shark’s tooth, but much bigger,'” Hill Cook said.
Shill Cook said they decided to post it on social media to see if anyone had any answers.
“Because what I think is actually it’s not what I think it is.”
The response was overwhelming – it was the tooth of a megalodon, an extinct shark that lived between about 230,000 and 3.6 million years ago.
“And then a lot of people contacted me privately, but one lady was a paleontologist and she said, ‘Yeah, you have 100 percent a megalodon tooth on your hand.'”
Shill Cook has since spoken to museums in Victoria and Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia, and the feedback she has gotten is the same, that while the megalodon has never been in the area, the tooth likely drifted on the glacier before eventually being buried in on the glacier. The banks of the Nechako River.
While the fossil is currently stored in a Tupperware container at her home, Hillcock said she eventually hopes to donate the tooth to science.
“From what I’ve read on the internet, I know megalodon teeth are common in some places. But finding one here is very rare.”
Shill Cook said it will be hard to beat the experience the next time she and her stepdaughter explore the river.
“She told me that hunting for agate can be boring these days. Megalodon teeth raise the bar for finding neat items by the river.”
— Hanna Peterson, Canadian Media