courtesy Art Castillo Art Castillo
What started off as a normal day turned extraordinary when a mammoth tooth dating back tens of thousand of years was discovered in Texas.
Art Castillo was taking a hike in Waco's Cotton Belt Trail on Sept. 15 when he stumbled upon something remarkable.
"I probably come out here probably three times a week," Castillo told local NBC station KCEN, which was first to report on the discovery. "I'm always looking down to see to find something and I found something even older than an arrowhead."
Right off the bat, Castillo had a pretty good idea about what he found.
"I knew it wasn't a rock when I saw the patterns and layers on it," he told CBS affiliate KWTX.
Art Castillo Columbian mammoth tooth
Sharing his exciting discovery on Facebook, Castillo wrote that it "looks like a mammoth tooth."
"Will be taking it to the Waco Mammoth site for verification," he added. "Stay tuned!!"
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At the Waco Mammoth National Monument, he learned that the fossilized molar was from a Columbian mammoth — and was estimated to be between 25,000 and 50,000 years old, he wrote in another Facebook post.
As for the future of the fossil, Castillo wrote that he decided to donate it "for kids and visitors to see for many years to come."
courtesy Art Castillo Art Castillo and niece
To clarify, Castillo said that "the reason I didn't ask for any money is because money isn't everything to me."
"The happiness and joy this fossil will bring to visitors," he added, "is more important to me than any dollar amount."