MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — A trip to Myrtle Beach became one for the history books when a North Carolina family uncovered a fossil.
Chon Carlile, of Lexington, said he was with his family at the beach, sifting through sand when he made the discovery.
When he couldn’t identify the fossil for himself, Carlile turned to the Fossils of Myrtle Beach South Carolina group which helped him determine that odd dark rock he found in the water was originally inside a mastodon’s mouth — it was a molar.
According to the New York State Museum, American mastodons lived during the early middle Pliocene epoch, about 3.7 million years ago, and went extinct as recently as 10,000 years ago.
Mastodon fossils have been found from Alaska all the way down to central Mexico.