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Sep 16 2011

Showoff

Emily Baldry is six years old. Emily has a little plastic shovel. Emily dug up a 160 million year old cephalopod.

I’m 54, I have a little plastic spoon, and I’m eyeing the backyard. There used to be cephalopods swimming around in this neighborhood…of course, there were also some annoying glaciers that scoured the landscape. But I can dream!

(Also on Sb)

40 comments

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  1. 1
    Kimberly Hosey (Arizona Writer)

    My son’s shovel is identical to that. He did dig up an old sprinkler head last week. Eyeing backyard right now.

  2. 2
    Glen Davidson

    I dug up some cat shit. Not really something that makes me want to keep digging. I know what I can find here anyhow, a bunch of boring basalt (Washington flood basalts).

    The photo caption says 140 million years, and just below it the article claims 16 million years.

    Ammonites make nice pets, just sitting there on the shelf.

    Glen Davidson

  3. 3
    Glen Davidson

    I dug up some cat shit. Not really something that makes me want to keep digging. I know what I can find here anyhow, a bunch of boring basalt (Washington flood basalts).

    The photo caption says 140 million years, and just below it the article claims 160 million years.

    Ammonites make nice pets, just sitting there on the shelf.

    Glen Davidson

  4. 4
    Interrobang

    And she calls it “Spike,” which I think is a fine name for a fossilised cephalopod.

  5. 5
    Glen Davidson

    The photo caption says 140 million years, and just below it the article claims 16 million years.

    Ack, one of those stupid cases where you hit “0″ and it doesn’t quite go down far enough to register. “160 million” of course.

    Glen Davidson

  6. 6
    Inaji

    Wow! If I thought I’d find something like that, I’d start digging up the whole yard.

  7. 7
    tushcloots

    When I was three, I had a little plastic shovel, and it suddenly dawned on me that concrete was made out of sand. I decided that I would dig up the porch. I remember the mailman coming by about then and asked what I was doing.n I confidentally and matter of factly told him I was going to dig the porch up, and I was puzzled when he laughed.

  8. 8
    'Tis Himself

    Think about what she’d dig up if she had one of these.

  9. 9
    Glen Davidson

    The photo caption says 140 million years, and just below it the article claims 160 million years.

    Oh, I forgot to add, “Therefore Jeebus,” like a good little godbot.

    Now I feel holy.

    Glen Davidson

  10. 10
    geral

    I used to dream about digging holes in my Michigan backyard and finding mammoth skeletons

  11. 11
    Vall

    My daughter’s photo of an ammonite did pretty well over at the panda’s thumb photo contest. I wish we could have found one as big as the girl in England did. Wow.

  12. 12
    Therrin

    Think about what she’d dig up if she had one of these.

    That is one mutant bridge.

  13. 13
    NelC

    Tsk, just down the road from me. With envy I am green. That could have been me, if I ever went to Cotswold Water Park. And dug the ground up at random. Shame I haven’t got a backyard.

  14. 14
    TV200

    This makes me happy, for some reason, I just think it’s cool.
    The only thing I’ve ever excavated was a Vespa, that had been buried for about 30 years. Only a very familiar handlebar sticking out of the ground.

  15. 15
    jimnorth

    mmmmmmmm…..escargot………yum!

  16. 16
    EvoMonkey

    Very cool!!! I tried digging out an old tree stump when I was that age, but I essentially got no where and broke my plastic shovel. Even with all my pleading to Mom and Dad, chainsaws and dynamite were out of the question.

  17. 17
    Some random guy

    lol

  18. 18
    'Tis Himself

    Even with all my pleading to Mom and Dad, chainsaws and dynamite were out of the question.

    You should have asked for a backhoe.

  19. 19
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    A young Mary Anning. Tremendous!

  20. 20
    ss123

    I’ve found a pretty big ammonite fossil laying right on top of the ground (mostly) while hunting on the western plains of South Dakota. They’re everywhere out there… The east side not so much as that’s where the glacier bulldozed through. I think the west side of SD missed most of the glaciers.

  21. 21
    DFS

    This is almost an overdose of cuteness and coolness. Nice.

  22. 22
    JJ

    I wish I would have found something like that as a kid! Although, it was pretty cool as 7-8yo and finding sharks teeth digging around the back yard. I still remember the sense of awe I had when I found one. The idea of sharks teeth inland really left me amazed and curious about geology\paleontology. But hey, it was just there ’cause of the global flood.

  23. 23
    A3Kr0n

    I wanted that rock pick in the gift shop at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago for many years. Finally, my dad bought it for me. It was only then that I discovered wanting is sometimes better than having. Dad’s wood chisel and a hammer worked much better at separating the rock layers.

  24. 24
    Grumps

    It’s cool, but it’s doubly cool because it may well be the event that sends Emily off to a life of science, wonder and just awesomeness. Keep digging Emily!

  25. 25
    Sili

    Kids these days.

    No respect for the departed.

    In a civilised country she be charged with disturbing a gravesite

    Little ghoul.

  26. 26
    brazenlucidity

    Nice!

  27. 27
    Rockatte

    I’m skeptical of this story. The only 2 references I’ve found are from The Mirror and The Daily Mail – not exactly paragons of journalistic integrity. Thoughts anyone?

  28. 28
    maureen.brian

    Video from ITV News is here

    http://www.itv.com/news/a-young-discovery26114/

  29. 29
    William Papp

    At one time had a similar Ammonite that I had painstakingly extracted from some dang hard rock. My garage was broken into and all they took was my fossil! At least they had good taste.

  30. 30
    chigau (違う)

    I agree with grumps.
    Poor Emily is probably imprinted and doomed to become a palaeontologist!

  31. 31
    nemothederv

    New standard of measurement,
    Emily is 3 cephalopods tall

  32. 32
    Mr. Fire

    The burning question is: which six-year-old girl dug up PZ?

    *runs*

  33. 33
    Cuttlefish Country

    Well done, Emily! The cephalopods of the world thank you for unearthing our heritage and celebrating them! Thanks for sharing this story & pic, PZ!

  34. 34
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I somehow picture her on a dig next to Dr. Marjanović some day, finding a missing link with her lucky shovel…

  35. 35
    popeyemoon

    I am 56 years old ,I was digging foxholes at her age.

  36. 36
    illdoittomorrow

    All I ever get to see are pyritized crinoid fragments, the odd sponge spicule, and (once) a nice brachiopod mold.

    *cries*

  37. 37
    Eric Paulsen

    In the third grade I found a tiny bivalve no bigger than my thumbnail now (1/2 an inch more or less) and was devastated when one of the fifth grade teachers asked to borrow it and never gave it back. It was the coolest fossil I found in my young life. When I was about 16 though my family took our sailboat to the Charity islands and in waist deep water I found two, what I believe were, human molars encased in what looked like sandstone. I don’t know if those were fossils or maybe just remains encrusted from being in the water, but I lost them and my Dad sold the boat…

    Never in my life did I dream of finding anything as cool as what Emily found. I blame the fact that I never had a tiny plastic shovel.

  38. 38
    McCthulhu, now with -25% less fat.

    The most recent stories about fossilized anything involved pre-adolescent children happening upon the fossil or digging it up. Voila! We can make a deduction. If we want to find all the fossils hidden in all the strata and make our evolutionary fossil history compleat (heh!) we just have to send out large contingents of kids with inappropriate digging apparatus (like spoons and little plastic hand shovels) and they will soon reveal the entire fauna history of the planet. (citation needed)

    Oh, and Glen Davidson (#9, #9, #9, #9…):

    For the amount it’s as the main ammo in the derision cannon, we almost need to keep ‘∴ Jebus!’ stored in our computer’s clipboard to paste at all times.

  39. 39
    AlanMac

    40 cm across and needed spikes for defense… WHAT THE HELL WAS EATING THEM!! *shudder*

    http://www.physorg.com/news123947703.html

    Oh! Never mind.

  40. 40
    leel

    @ A3Kr0n, #23:

    Your Dad’s WOOD CHISEL??!?

    How on earth did you survive childhood?

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