SAVOY, Tex. -- It’s being called one of the biggest archeological finds in the country. It wasn't made by a large group of scientists, but by a 12-year -old in Savoy. Now the boy, who thought it was just a piece of petrified wood, is getting attention from across the globe.
It's been extinct for 65-million years. At one time, Plesiosaurs ruled the earth’s oceans and lakes. Apparently, some made Fannin County home, at least according to one sixth grader in Savoy...
"We were riding and I like to look out of the corner of my eye to see what’s on the walls and I saw the top of it sticking out like that and I dug it out with a little rock to see what it was," says Tristan Allen, who made the discovery.
Allen found what has been classified as one of the largest plesiosaur vertebrae in the last five years. In the months after it was discovered the historical artifact was used for something else: a doorstop.
A couple weeks ago Tristan and his class were discussing fossils and he brought it for show-and-tell.
"I've got this Dino bone for show and tell and I thought yeah sure you do, let me see your Dino bone anyway he reaches into the sack and he pulls out the biggest vertebrae I have ever seen and I went well maybe you do have a dinosaur bone,” says Savoy ISD superintendent Brian Neal.
Since that fateful day, Neal’s office has been inundated with calls from across the country and around the world asking to see the Dino bone. In fact, when Tristan and Neal showed off the bone for the Dallas Paleontological Society this past month, one expert said it was one of the biggest vertebrae he had ever seen...
"We've become fossil central but we've really had a good time with it," Neal says.
For once, Tristan says his nickname, ‘Tristan-Teratops’ actually makes sense. Archeologists at SMU have told him, if he finds another fossil, a full scale dig could be in Savoy.
"The best part is that it’s really gotten our kids excited about science and you never know what you're going to find in the back yard or in a creek," Neal says.
For now, Neal says the find has reinvigorated learning and Tristan encourages everyone to get out and look for the next big bone.
"Anything can happen I mean even if you're just sitting somewhere something out of the blue can just catch your eye to go over there and find something that has been extinct 65 million years ago."