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Schoolboy, six, discovers three million-year-old megalodon tooth at Bawdsey Beach



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A schoolboy has found a three million-year-old megalodon tooth while looking for shells on a Suffolk beach.

Sammy Shelton, six, has blown away classmates by taking the ancient fossil into school for show and tell.

The four-inch tooth belonged to the terrifying 60-foot-long megalodon shark - a prehistoric predator specialised in killing whales.

Sammy Shelton with the three million-year-old megalodon tooth. Picture: SWNS
Sammy Shelton with the three million-year-old megalodon tooth. Picture: SWNS

Sammy is now sleeping with the fossil next to his bed after making the 'once-in-a-lifetime' discovery at Bawdsey Beach near Woodbridge and Felixstowe.

His dad Peter Shelton, 60, said: "People have said it's a once-in-a-lifetime discovery.

"Really we were looking for interesting shells on the beach but instead we got this megalodon tooth.

The three million-year-old megalodon tooth. Picture: SWNS
The three million-year-old megalodon tooth. Picture: SWNS

"It was huge and very heavy.

"I knew what it was but it wasn't until I took it to others looking on the beach that I realised the significance.

"There was one guy down there who's been looking all his life for a megalodon tooth and never found anything of this size."

Evolutionary biologist Ben Garrod, who works at UEA, checked pictures of the tooth and said it was one of just a handful found in Britain each year.

Sammy has earned an 'explorer' badge from his local Beavers group since finding the tooth.

He's now keen to get back down to the beach to dig up more potential fossils.

Peter said: "At the moment he's keeping it by his bedside.

"He's taken it into school and to Beavers to show his friends.

"Sammy wants to go back again. He likes being outside."

The extinct megalodon - meaning 'big tooth' - roamed the seas approximately 23 to 3.6 million years ago.

It could grow up to 67-foot long and had 250 thick teeth that were designed to grab prey and break bones.