Indian-origin boy, 6, finds upto 500 million-years-old fossil in backyard 

Siliguri, India: After receiving a fossil-hunting set for Christmas, a six-year-old Indian origin boy excavated a fossil in his garden in the West Midlands region of England which is supposed to be 488 million years old- from the Paleozoic era.

The boy named Siddak Singh Jhamat, known as Sid was digging for worms in his garden in the Walsall- West Midlands region of England when he suddenly discovered a rock that resembled a horn. He said that he was “excited” to discover the fossil.

The boy’s father, Vish Singh could identify the horn coral through a Facebook fossil group where he is a member. Mr. Singh estimated the fossil to be between 251 to 488 years old.

Sid said: "I was just digging for worms and things like pottery and bricks and I just came across this rock which looked a bit like a horn and thought it could be a tooth or a claw or a horn, but it was actually a piece of coral which is called horn coral."

He further said: "I was really excited about what it really was."

Mr. Singh said: "We were surprised he found something so odd-shaped in the soil... he found a horn coral, and some smaller pieces next to it, then the next day he went digging again and found a congealed block of sand.”

He further added: "In that, there were loads of little mollusks and seashells, and something called a crinoid, which is like a tentacle of a squid, so it's quite a prehistoric thing."

According to Vish Singh, the markings of the fossil is most likely a Rugosa coral, and its estimated age should be between 251 to 488 million years.  Mr. Singh also said that the period when the corals existed was the Paleozoic Era. 

Mr. Singh added: "England at the time was part of Pangea, a landmass of continents. England was all underwater as well... that's quite a significant expanse of time."

The Singh family said that the area they live in is not known for its fossils, like the Jurassic Coast in the south of England.  But there is a lot of natural clay in the garden where the fossils were discovered.

Mr. Singh also said: "Lots and lots of people have commented on how amazing it is to find something in the back garden."

"They say you can find fossils anywhere if you look carefully enough, but to find a significantly large piece like that is quite unique."

They now think to inform Birmingham's University of Geology about this discovery.

Cover image courtesy of PA media. 

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