LOCAL NEWS

Preschool teacher finds rare fossil along Oregon coast

Apr 13, 2024, 10:32 AM

In March, Amariah Jacobs was on a hike with her husband along the Oregon coast when she found a rar...

In March, Amariah Jacobs was on a hike with her husband along the Oregon coast when she found a rare fossil of an extinct animal.

Click here for updates on this story

PORTLAND (KPTV) — In March, Amariah Jacobs was on a hike with her husband along the Oregon coast when she found a rare fossil of an extinct animal.

“I happen to be walking on a long, long stretch of sand in the middle of nowhere and found a tiny, tiny patch of cobble,” Jacobs said. “I just thought I saw a snail and looked down but then on second thought, was like ‘what the heck are these – teeth?’”

Matthew Miller, a Smithsonian Museum specialist in paleobiology, says yes – they are teeth, and most likely of a desmostylian – a hippo-like animal that is closely related to elephants and sea cows.

“They mostly lived in the water, they were swimming around,” Miller said. “They’re eating vegetational at the bottom of the seafloor and shallow coastal environments, coming back on land to have their children.”

Miller said the tooth is estimated to be 20 to 23 million years old.

“Based on its rounded nature, like the fragment of bone that it’s in it probably weathered out of a much larger skull,” Miller said. “It’s very likely that the sea basically eroded the skull out of the rock underneath the waterline and broke it up into various fragments and just so happened that the teeth are a little bit more robust, and this fragment just happened to survive the rest of the skull broke apart.”

Miller said the find is rare because only about 1% of all living animals become fossilized.

Jacobs said she is in talks with the University of Oregon to donate the fossil.

“I just picked something up off the ground that the ocean would’ve scooped away in the next two hours and we wouldn’t have seen it again for another 20 million years,” Jacobs said. “I would love to see it be on display if it’s of quality, good enough, to be on display. And I would certainly like to see it be available for study.”

Until then, the preschool teacher wants to make the rare find a teachable moment for her students.

“The physics they need exist in the world around them, the biology they need to learn at that age exists in the world around them,” Jacobs said. “So, take the children outside, let them touch the natural world, and whenever you can, bring the natural world back inside for the children.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Axel Thomas Peterson and his father Matthew Peterson placing flags on veteran graves at the Larkin ...

Kiersten Nunez

Honoring Veterans: 3,000 flags placed by youth volunteers

In a heartfelt tribute to the men and women who have served the country, more than 200 youth volunteers from around the Salt Lake Valley gathered to honor military veterans ahead of Memorial Day.

9 hours ago

Joan Eccles and her mother were gifted matching engraved charms. Once lost, Eccles has found the mi...

Andrew Adams

St. George family believes they found long lost charm on eBay

A St. George woman was reunited with a lost family charm in an unexpected place on the internet.

9 hours ago

A yearling bull moose was found in a neighborhood in the foothills of Ogden. (Courtesy: Crey Maxey)...

Carlysle Price

Moose found on homeowner’s porch, what to do if this happens to you

A yearling bull moose was found on a homeowner's front porch Thursday and was safely relocated by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

12 hours ago

The male driver of a silver sedan who police believe had their car stolen by the man accused of kil...

Michael Houck and Lauren Steinbrecher, KSL TV

Police searching for man targeted by suspect in Sgt. Bill Hooser’s death

Police are looking for a man whose car was attempted to be stolen at a gas station by the man accused of killing Sgt. Bill Hooser.

12 hours ago

The Audi after it was hit by an SUV on May 12....

Carlysle Price

Man facing six charges after car accident that injured two

A man was charged Thursday in connection to a car accident on May 12 that injured two.

13 hours ago

A basketball hoop at the Adaptive Arena in Bluffdale, which is a gym made for kids with some disabi...

Alex Cabrero

Get In The Games: Adaptive Arena welcomes kids with disabilities to play sports

A new gym is welcoming kids with a disability to play sports that are specifically designed for their needs.

13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Preschool teacher finds rare fossil along Oregon coast