Florida

Toddler finds mammoth tooth while tossing pebbles behind Palm Bay home

PALM BAY, Fla. (WESH) — A rare find was made by a toddler in Palm Bay.

Colt Couch, who just turned 3, found an ancient tooth that once belonged to a mammoth.

One of Colt's many interests is tossing pebbles into a pond behind his home. A few days ago, Colt tried pulling up a stone that was a little too big.

"He couldn't pull it up, so I helped him dig it up and we could tell right away it wasn't a natural rock, of course," Monte Brigance said.

Brigance, Colt's grandfather, has some interest in fossils, and has confirmed, through the Florida Museum of Natural History, that the find is part of the tooth of a mammoth, the huge, elephant-like denizen of the Ice Age.

The find is rare, but not unheard of.

Ice Age animals lived in Florida thousands of years ago.

"It's always amazing when people stumble on things like this – mammoth teeth, ancient prehistoric bones," Ben Brotemarkle of the Florida Historical Society said.

The Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science in Cocoa has its own collection of impressive fossils.

"It's amazing to think about what it was like to be a human being in Florida 10,000 years ago and see these huge beasts," Brotemarkle said.

The tooth could be worth around $1,000 to a collector.

Brigance said if the price is right, they will sell the tooth and put the money into Colt's college fun. If not, the family will save it and wait till he is old enough to appreciate the fossil to let him decide what he wants to do with it.


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