Walsall boy finds fossil up to 500 million years old in his back garden

A six-year-old boy has found a fossil dating back millions of years in his garden after receiving a fossil-hunting kit for Christmas.

Siddak Singh Jhamat, known as Sid, said he was "excited" to find the fossil in his garden in Walsall after digging for worms.

He 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.

His father said 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.

"In that there were loads of little molluscs and sea shells," says his father Vish Singh. "And something called a crinoid, which is like a tentacle of a squid, so it's quite a prehistoric thing."

Sid got his fossil finding kit for Christmas and only a few months later found a fossil almost half a billion years old Credit: ITV News Central

Mr Singh said he went on the Natural History Museum's website and joined their online forum, which meant he could submit photos of what he found.

"I got responses back yesterday and the day before saying yes, it's a Rugosa coral from the Ordovician time period.

"So that time period spanned about 488 to 451 million years ago". 

"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."

Sid says when he realised what he found, he was "surprised but not too surprised" because "Dudley ages ago used to be underwater!"

Credit: Vish Singh

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.