Arizona – Amateur paleontologist, Stephanie Leco, made a very rare finding by unearthing a 220 million year-old fossil. The twenty-six year old photographer made the discovery during a “First Dig for Everyday People Event” held at Arizona’s Petrified Forest National Park.

The pinky nail sized fossil is believed to be the jaw of a fish three to four times bigger than the bone. This piece of archeological wonder is related to the Saurichthys, which was thought to have been extinct in the area where Leco found it, making this event a real breakthrough.

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“The only other evidence of it being in this time period was previously found in China, so this is the first time that it’s being seen in the North America for this time period,” Leco explained.

According to Ben Kligman, a senior at the University of California, Berkley, the area were Leco made the discovery apparently was a lake or pond in the Late Triassic Period, about 235 to 228 million years ago. Klingman believes that the fossil belong to a new species of fish, but argues that it can’t be confirmed without the entire fossil. He plans to return to the Petrified Forest next summer under the mission of finding the rest of the fossil and prove that what Leco found is actually a new species.

“Although it’s probably a new species, we can’t say that it is yet because we don’t have enough specimens,” he added.

Source: FOX News