Schoolboy, six, finds 488million-year-old fossil while digging for worms in his garden


Schoolboy, six, finds 488million-year-old fossil while digging for worms in his garden

  • Siddak Singh Jhamat, known as Sid, said he was ‘excited’ to find the fossil
  • Sid found a ‘horn coral’ estimated to be between 251 and 488 million years old
  • The next day he found a crinoid – which is the tentacle of a squid – in his garden 

A six-year-old boy has found a fossil dating back 488 million years in his garden while digging for worms. 

Siddak Singh Jhamat, known as Sid, said he was ‘excited’ to find the fossil in his garden in Walsall, West Midlands, while using a fossil finding kit gifted to him for Christmas.

The schoolboy found a ‘horn coral’, thought to be a Rugosa coral, which is estimated to be between 251 and 488 million years old.

The next day he found a crinoid – which is the tentacle of a squid – as well as molluscs and sea shells.

Siddak Singh Jhamat (pictured), known as Sid, said he was 'excited' to find the fossil in his garden in Walsall, West Midlands, while using a fossil finding kit gifted to him for Christmas

Siddak Singh Jhamat (pictured), known as Sid, said he was ‘excited’ to find the fossil in his garden in Walsall, West Midlands, while using a fossil finding kit gifted to him for Christmas

Sid said: ‘I was just digging for worms and things like pottery and bricks and I just came across this rock which looked a bit like a horn, and thought it could be a tooth or a claw or a horn, but it was actually a piece of coral which is called horn coral.

‘I was really excited about what it really was.’

Sid’s father, Vish Singh, said the family was ‘surprised’ when he found the ‘odd-shaped’ fragment.

He added: ‘He found a horn coral, and some smaller pieces next to it, then the next day he went digging again and found a congealed block of sand.

Sid's father, Vish Singh, said the family was 'surprised' when he found the 'odd-shaped' fragment (pictured)

Sid’s father, Vish Singh, said the family was ‘surprised’ when he found the ‘odd-shaped’ fragment (pictured)

‘In that there were loads of little molluscs and sea shells, and something called a crinoid, which is like a tentacle of a squid, so it’s quite a prehistoric thing.’

Mr Singh was able to identify the horn coral through a fossil group on Facebook. 

Members said the fossil’s markings indicated it was most likely a Rugosa coral, estimated to be between 251 to 488 million years old.

‘The period that they existed from was between 500 and 251 million years ago, the Paleozoic Era,’ he said.

‘England at the time was part of Pangea, a landmass of continents. England was all underwater as well… that’s quite significant expanse of time.’

The schoolboy found a 'horn coral', thought to be a Rugosa coral, which is estimated to be between 251 and 488 million years old

The schoolboy found a ‘horn coral’, thought to be a Rugosa coral, which is estimated to be between 251 and 488 million years old

The family said that they do not live in an area known for its fossils, like the Jurassic Coast in the south of England, but that they do have a lot of natural clay in the garden where the fossils were found.

The family said they would like to tell Birmingham University’s Museum of Geology about their discovery.

Mr Singh said: ‘Lots and lots of people have commented on how amazing it is to find something in the back garden.

‘They say you can find fossils anywhere if you look carefully enough, but to find a significantly large piece like that is quite unique.’ 

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