A Nebraska fisherman found a 90-million-year-old fossil as he took part in a fishing competition on the Missouri River.
Andy Moore accidentally made the shock discovery after snagging his hook on what he thought was a rock after a “horrible cast”.
He paddled over to retrieve his hook and saw what he thought was a skeleton of a dead animal. Mr Moore took the picture and went back to the competition.
He later posted a picture of his discovery online and was amazed at the feedback he received.
“I have a friend DM me, a couple, going, ‘Dude, did you know that’s a 90-million-year-old fossil?’” Mr Moore told KETV.
“Another guy called, ‘dude do you realize what you have there?’ I’m like, ‘no,’” he added.
Mr Morre then contacted the Army Corps of Engineers, which is in charge of the river, and they passed on his picture to a retired geologist who has a permit to excavate it.
The geologist said that he was interested, and using a GPS location of where he took the picture they returned to the site to investigate.
“He jumps out of the boat. You know, he’s in his boots. And he’s just like, ‘Oh my God,’” said Mr Moore.
The geologist then told him that the fossil was of a “bulldog fish” that was around 90 million years old. The fossil will be dried out and displayed at the Lewis and Clark Visitors Center in Crofton, Nebraska.
“That’s the whole cool thing about the whole story is an actual fisherman caught a prehistoric fish,” said Mr Moore.
The bulldog fish was a huge species, some as large as 20ft long, that swam in the waters of the Western Interior Seaway, a large sea that once split North America into two land masses, around 100 million years ago.
Fossils, which are mostly from fish or marine animals, are created when they are buried in sediment and their bodies decompose slowly, allowing fossilization to occur.