Suffolk: Boy finds 3,000,000-year-old megalodon tooth on Bawdsey Beach

Sammy Shelton was out on a grenade hunt at Bawdsey Beach in Suffolk

Sammy Shelton was out on a grenade hunt at Bawdsey Beach in Suffolk (Photo: SWNS)

A schoolboy looking for shells on the beach found instead a huge, prehistoric shark tooth.

Sammy Shelton, six, did not expect to find the four-inch tooth, which is about three million years old.

But he was so happy with the find that he now sleeps with it next to his bed.

The tooth was found on Bawdsey Beach in Suffolk, a hotspot for fossil hunters – though the finds are often hidden in clay.

It once belonged to a huge shark called a megalodon, whose fins alone were thought to be the size of an adult human.

Now extinct, the shark can grow up to 67 feet long.

Its name means ‘big tooth’ and it had 250 thick teeth designed to grab prey and break its bones, including whales.

The tooth is larger than Sammy's entire nose

The tooth is larger than Sammy’s entire nose (Photo: Peter Shelton / SWNS)

Sammy took his ancient fossil to school to show and tell, and he has also received a special ‘discovery mark’ from his local Beavers group since he found the tooth.

His father, Peter Shelton, 60, said: ‘People have said it is a once-in-a-lifetime discovery.

‘We were really looking for interesting shells on the beach, but instead we got this megalodon tooth.

‘It was big and very heavy.

‘I knew what it was, but it was only when I took it to others looking at the beach that I realized the meaning.

‘There was a guy down there who all his life has been looking for a megalodon tooth and has never found anything of this size.’

Evolutionary biologist Ben Garrod, who works at the UEA, checked images of the tooth and said only a handful were found in the UK each year.

Sammy is now keen to get back to the beach to dig up more potential fossils.

Peter said: ‘At the moment he is holding it by his bed.

‘He has taken it to school and to the Beavers to show his friends.

Sammy will be back again. He likes to be outside. “

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