A scallop fisherman netted an ancient mammoth tooth this week in New Hampshire.
On Tuesday, Mike Anderson discovered the woolly mammoth tooth in a pile of scallop shells that were caught in the nets of his fishing boat, the Rimrack. It’s not the first time Anderson and his wife Padi have come across unusual items on their fishing excursions, but it may the oldest.
WMUR News writes that Anderson was dredging the waters south of the Isles of Shoals for scallops when he realized he had found something spectacular. It didn’t take him long to realize what the object must be:
“We pick through the scallop shells and throw a few rocks over and stuff, and we ended up finding that tooth. If you ever had a tooth extracted, you could see where the nerve ending came off. There was a hole in it.”
Following the unusual find, a Rimrack crew member contacted Dr. William Clyde, a geologist at the University of New Hampshire. Upon initial sight of the fossil he concluded that the fisherman’s catch may indeed be a mammoth tooth.
The Huffington Post later attained confirmation from two mammoth experts. Professor Adrian Lister, a researcher at London’s Natural History Museum, told the news organization the following:
“It looks like a badly corroded but recognizable molar tooth of a mammoth, probably woolly mammoth.”
Padi Anderson shared her feelings on the find with The New Hampshire Union Leader:
“To know this is something that was living over 10,000, 12,000 years ago and that it was right here in New Hampshire most probably, and that where we found it was on land at that time. It is pretty interesting to learn about what the world would have looked like back then and you learn from that, like this tooth. This animal was on land and we’re fishing there now and probably in 100 years, where we are now is going to be covered in water.”
As for fisherman Mike Anderson — he plans to show off his new mammoth tooth to his customers.