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When the 8-year-old boy discovered a giant fish tooth, he had to have it

Eight-year-old boy finds a 4.75-inch extinct shark tooth on vacation.



A curious eight-year-old with a penchant for the great outdoors discovered a fossilized shark tooth belonging to a species that has since gone extinct in South Carolina during the first week of August 2022.

In August, Riley Gracely, a young boy from Lebanon, Pennsylvania, went to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, with his parents, Justin and Janelle, and brother, Collin.

While passing through Summerville, South Carolina, the family stopped at Palmetto Fossil Excursions, an educational fossil-hunting expedition facility.

A young child, aged 5, seems to have discovered an ancient Megalodon tooth in South Carolina.

Riley “was walking around the bases of these piles of gravel and dirt and noticed what he thought was the edge of a tooth,” said the proud father, Justin Gracely, in an email to Fox News Digital.

“He squealed with delight when he discovered what it was”

A 4.75-inch angustidens tooth was discovered by Riley in the “premium” gravel layer of the company.

We are so proud of Riley,” Justin Gracely chimed in.

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According to Riley’s father, the staff at Palmetto Fossil Excursions gave him an in-depth explanation of the significance of his daughter’s find, which was remarkable due to its “species, size, and condition.”

During the Oligocene and Miocene epochs, 33 million to 22 million years ago, a megatoothed shark called Angustidens flourished., run by the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy in Keswick, Virginia, is a free public mineral database and reference resource.

Based on newly discovered fossils, scientists have concluded that angustidens were a close relative of megalodons, the largest shark species in history but now extinct.

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It is estimated that megalodons existed between 23 and 3.6 million years ago, during the early Miocene and Pliocene periods.

Megalodons, according to research, could have reached a length of up to 68.6 feet.

According to, a database of extinct animals, angustidens could grow to a height of up to 30 and a half feet.

“CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!! On a dry dig, this young man unearthed a 4.75-centimeter Angustiden tooth from our Premium Gravel Layer piles. On August 11 Palmetto Fossil Excursions wrote on their Facebook page.

To put things in perspective, the team said, “any [angustidens] over 4″ is like finding a 6″ [megalodon], and a [angustidens] at 4.75″ is like finding a 6.5″ megalodon tooth.”

“Once again, my sincere congratulations, young man! This is a once-in-a-lifetime discovery!!

On Facebook, one user commented, “So precious!” in response to the news of Riley Gracely’s discovery. That boy is destined for a career in paleontology.

The other person remarked, “Meet a future paleontologist!” Congratulations, young man!

Justin Gracely, Riley Gracely’s father, told Fox News Digital that his son enjoys the outdoors and is fascinated by science.

To paraphrase what Justin Gracely wrote about his client: “His collection is still in its early stages, so he’s keeping it for now, but who knows in time.” “It’s nice if other people can appreciate it, too.”

“We probably found 7 or 8 species of teeth in all,” the dad continued, referring to the trip’s discoveries.


The Gracelys have gone on creek excursions, dry digs, and other top-tier gravel pile digs in their pursuit of fossils, which they enjoy doing as a family.

For the third year in a row, Justin Gracely raved, “this outfit has been the best” when planning family vacations. “I really enjoy these trips and wish they had been available when I was younger.”

He continued, “Since Riley and his brother Collin were able to walk, we’ve been interested in searching for these treasures on the beach during our annual trip to Myrtle Beach.”

A person of any age can appreciate it.

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According to the company’s website, Palmetto Fossil Excursions “began as a journey for two individuals to share their passion for paleontology with others.”

“Today, the Palmetto crew includes a number of guides hailing from different walks of life, each of whom contributes something special to the team’s overall dynamic.”

To provide our customers with an ever-evolving service, the article continues, “Together we use our unique capabilities to work in unison to find new sites and new ways of teaching others about the past life that existed in the Coastal Plain region of South Carolina.”

A further explanation of “the premium layer” is available on their Facebook page.

According to the group’s Facebook page, this is “the fossil layer that we are currently excavating from another location and trucking over to our 100-acre pit.”

We were unable to operate our tours there permanently as we had hoped because the other site was slated to be transformed into a large pond. The landowner there has been very kind in letting us use an excavator to remove the fossil layer and transport it to our pit, saving the incredible fossils from being washed away.

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“We call it premium because the hastalis, tigers, cows, great whites, and bull shark teeth that are coming out of it are in such excellent condition,” they continue. In addition to the teeth of whales, tapirs, and other mammals, this layer contains a plethora of megalodon and large angustidens.

The authors continue, “Put simply, this is the richest fossil layer we have ever seen.” The sediment in which the fossils were buried imparted incredible hues to the resulting fossils.