Little Girl Declares She Wants to Find a Megalodon Tooth—and Promptly Plucks One From Beach on Christmas Day

​Molly with her megalodon tooth – Sampson family photo

It was Christmas day, and young Molly was jumping for joy having unwrapped a pair of insulated waders and a sifting basket.

They were exactly what the 9-year-old wanted—and needed, because as it turned out they helped her get her hands on a “once-in-a-lifetime” find of a megalodon tooth from a 50-foot shark that swam in the prehistoric oceans 15 million years ago.

Molly Sampson wants to be a paleontologist when she grows up, a dream nurtured by her and her father’s love of fossil hunting in the shallow water of the Chesapeake Bay’s Calvert Cliffs, Maryland.

Her and her sister Natalie both go often with their father Bruce, and even on a 10°F day at 9:30 on Christmas morning, all they wanted to do was go looking for fossils. Molly, according to NPR, announced to the team she was going to look for a megalodon tooth.

It was low tide, meaning they could wade further out, allowing Molly to catch a glimpse of her dream find.

“I went closer, and in my head, I was like, ‘Oh, my, that is the biggest tooth I’ve ever seen!’” Molly said excitedly during an interview in early January. “I reached in and grabbed it, and dad said I was shrieking.”

credit: Alacia Sampson

Her father also dreams of finding a “meg” tooth, but his largest find is about 3 inches. The future paleontologist explained to local news how one can estimate the size of the shark by the size of the tooth.

RELATED: Little Boy Finds Massive Ancient Shark Tooth Millions of Years Old

“Every inch is 10 feet,” Molly said. “So this is five inches, so it’d be 50 feet, [a] 50-foot shark.”

Bruce and the family took the tooth to the Calvert Marine Museum to confirm its identity, who shared Molly’s story on facebook.

Megalodon, short for Megalodontus, or “Giant-toothed” was one of the largest predatory fish to ever live, and is estimated to have wielded the greatest bite force the process of evolution has ever produced.

MORE PALEONTOLOGY NEWS: Fossil Found by Kids in New Zealand Turns Out to Be 27 Million-Year-old Giant Penguin

Precursors to modern Great White Sharks in hunting and feeding habits, they preyed on whales and dolphins before going extinct presumably during a decline in prey numbers.

Molly got to keep the tooth, but whether she loves it enough to sleep with it every night like other 9-year-olds do with plushies, GNN can’t speculate, but this was surely the best Christmas ever for this future paleontologist.

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