Lindsey Stallworth, 16, found a 4-foot-long whale skull, around 34 million years old, right on her family’s farm!
Fossil hunting had always been a family tradition on the farm, where shark teeth, vertebrae, and shells were like hidden treasures waiting to be discovered.
At school, Lindsey’s biology class introduces her to Dr. Drew Gentry, a paleontologist known for uncovering prehistoric giants.
She showed him her collection of shark teeth, sparking a remarkable journey to her family’s land for an unforgettable excavation.
In no time, they unearthed bone fragments that hinted at something extraordinary beneath the surface.
Days of careful digging revealed more of the ancient whale’s lower jaw, a true paleontological triumph!
Photos of the find were shared with colleagues nationwide, confirming it was a carnivorous whale, related to the Alabama state fossil.
The skull’s age was confirmed using data from the US Geological Survey and the Geological Survey of Alabama.
Now, the whale skull rests at the Alabama School of Mathematics and Science, where Lindsey and her fellow students will clean, repair, and study it.
Next summer, Lindsey and the team plan to return to the site, hoping to unveil more of the massive skeleton, possibly 15–20 feet long!
As for Lindsey’s future, she’s traded her marine biology dreams for a newfound passion — marine paleontology.
She’s excited to explore the lives of ancient creatures and their incredible evolution over millions of years.
This fantastic discovery not only adds to the thrill of fossil hunting but also inspires young minds to embrace scientific adventures right here in Alabama.
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