UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — The finding of fossilized creatures isn’t just for paleontologists.
A 10-year-old boy stumbled upon one such discovery while touring a monastery in Colombia.
Embedded in the flagstone beneath his feet was the skeletal remains of something that looked like a cross between a lizard and a fish.
He took a photo which was sent to experts at the University of Alberta who confirmed it was a type of extinct deep-sea fish; one never-before-seen in South America.
A new study published in the Journal of Systematic Paleontology identifies the fish as a species that lived 90 million years ago.
It has no relatives alive today but may have looked like a modern barracuda. It would have hunted small creatures using its slim, fine-toothed jaw.
Researchers say the find sheds light on how ancient species spread and could help them predict how changes in the environment will affect fish alive today.