Man finds fossilized mammoth molar on Texas trail


The fossilized molar would be between 10,000 and 50,000 years old.

Photo: PATRICK T. FALLON/Getty Images

During a contemplative walk he was taking on a hiking trail in Waco, in McLennan County, Texas, a Hewitt resident discovered a find that he later found out turned out to be thousands of years old.

And it is that Art Castillo never imagined that by lifting what looked like a stone, he had actually brought a fossilized mammoth tooth to his hands.

Its original objective was to try to discover an arrowhead that at the time some hunter of the past would have used to subdue one of its prey for the purpose of feeding.

“I probably come here three times a week. I always look down to see if I can find something and I found this even older than an arrowhead.” Castillo revealed to the New York Post after his encounter with the story while exploring the Cotton Belt Trail on Highway 84 in Waco.

The piece discovered by the hiker is a fossilized mammoth molar, the size of which is larger than his hands.

Surprised by his find, Castillo went to the Waco Mammoth National Monument, where Site manager Raegan King told him the molar is between 10,000 and 50,000 years old.

Likewise, the expert told her that mammoths only had four molars, but over several years they were changing them, which coincided with the discovery of the ancient tooth.

“That’s why a lot of the teeth are in bits and pieces, because they are designed to break down and grind,” he said.

Aware of the historical importance for the trail, but especially for the people who come to the Mammoth National MonumentArt Castillo chose to donate his discovery to the site.

“I decided that I wanted to donate it because I wanted other children and visitors to be able to see it and be interested in the site and also in Waco because this site is full of history,” he said.

In this regard, Raegan King praised the action of the discoverer of the mammoth molar, as this represents a great opportunity for visitors to the trail to even touch the fossilized piece.

“This is an opportunity for children to touch the real thing instead of just looking at a model. It also helps them see how heavy it is and indicate how old it might have been and how big these types of pachyderms were,” King said.

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