Story By: Wu Juan, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
A well-known Chinese fossil expert did not have to look far for his latest discovery after realising that a polished floor tile in a government building contained a 20 million-year-old sea snail.
Fossil researcher Wang Yu, who also blogs about fossil hunting, spotted the prehistoric snail on the floor during a meeting at the Huai’an municipal government building in the prefecture-level city of Huai’an in the Chinese province of Jiangsu.
The expert walked into the entrance hall and quickly spotted the fossil, pointing it out to officials who had never realised.
He said that much of the stone now used in Chinese buildings was actually imported because it was considerably cheaper, with an average tile like this one costing less than GBP 10.
He added that if the tile was removed, it would probably sell for easily over GBP 1,000.
Wang said: “It is surprisingly common for people to have fossils in floor tiles. You can see them in shopping malls, hotels, and other office buildings.”
He said that typical sea snails nowadays are only a few centimetres in length, yet this prehistoric animal would have been around 40 centimetres long when it died and became preserved in the stone.
Wang added: “It’s about 20 million years old, and the stone is very interesting, imported from Egypt. It is relatively common stone and frequently used in construction.”
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