The six-year-old schoolboy finds a 488 million-year-old fossil while digging for worms in his yard

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The six-year-old schoolboy finds a 488 million-year-old fossil while digging for worms in his yard

  • Siddak Singh Jhamat, better known as Sid, said he was ‘excited’ to find the fossil
  • Sid found a ‘horn coral’ estimated to be between 251 and 488 million years old
  • The next day, he found a crinoid – the tentacle of an octopus – in his garden

A six-year-old boy has found a fossil in his garden that is 488 million years old while digging for worms.

Siddak Singh Jhamat, better known as Sid, said he was “excited” to find the fossil in his garden in Walsall, West Midlands, using a fossil search kit donated to him for Christmas.

The schoolboy found a ‘horn coral’, believed to be a Rugosa coral, which is estimated to be between 251 and 488 million years old.

The next day, he found a crinoid – a squid’s tentacle – as well as mollusks and seashells.

Siddak Singh Jhamat (pictured), known as Sid, said he was 'excited' to find the fossil in his garden in Walsall, West Midlands, using a fossil search kit donated to him for Christmas

Siddak Singh Jhamat (pictured), known as Sid, said he was ‘excited’ to find the fossil in his garden in Walsall, West Midlands, using a fossil search kit donated to him for Christmas

Sid said I was just digging for worms and things like pottery and bricks and I just came across this rock that 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 called horn coral.

“I was really excited about what it really was.”

Sid’s father, Vish Singh, said the family was “surprised” to find the “strangely shaped” fragment.

He added: ‘He found a horn coral and some smaller pieces next to it, the next day he went digging again and found a solid block of sand.

Sid's father, Vish Singh, said the family was 'surprised' to find the 'strangely shaped' fragment (pictured)

Sid's father, Vish Singh, said the family was 'surprised' to find the 'strangely shaped' fragment (pictured)

Sid’s father, Vish Singh, said the family was ‘surprised’ to find the ‘strangely shaped’ fragment (pictured)

“There were a lot of small mollusks and seashells in there, and something called a crinoid, that’s like a squid tentacle, so it’s kind of a prehistoric thing.”

Singh was able to identify the horn coral through a fossil group on Facebook.

Members said the fossil’s markings indicated it was most likely a Rugosa coral, estimated to be between 251 and 488 million years old.

“The period in which they existed was between 500 and 251 million years ago, the Paleozoic,” he said.

At the time, England was part of Pangea, a landmass of continents. England was all under water too … that’s quite a long time. ‘

The schoolboy found a 'horn coral', believed to be a Rugosa coral, estimated to be between 251 and 488 million years old

The schoolboy found a 'horn coral', believed to be a Rugosa coral, estimated to be between 251 and 488 million years old

The schoolboy found a ‘horn coral’, believed to be a Rugosa coral, estimated to be between 251 and 488 million years old

The family said they don’t live in an area known for its fossils, such as the Jurassic Coast in southern England, but they do have a lot of natural clay in the garden where the fossils were found.

The family said they wanted to tell the University of Birmingham Geology Museum about their discovery.

Mr Singh said: ‘A lot of people have commented how great it is to find something in the backyard.

“They say you can find fossils everywhere if you look closely enough, but finding such a large piece is quite unique.”

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