Large mammoth fossil sitting on a tabletop.

Texas Man Finds Mammoth Tooth Fossil, Donates to Waco Museum

A day of looking for arrowheads led to an even bigger discovery for one Hewitt, Texas man. Art Castillo was walking along the Cotton Belt Trail in Waco, Texas when he came across a historic find: a gigantic fossilized mammoth tooth. According to an interview with CBS station KHOU, Castillo regularly visits the trail to see what he can find.

"I probably come out here probably three times a week," he said, and is "always looking down to see to find something, and I found something even older than an arrowhead." The trail is part of the South Bosque River.

According to the news report, Castillo found the piece of the tooth by the edge of the water. Castillo told them that he "picked it up by the top, and the top of it came off." At that point, he knew he would have to handle it extremely gently.

The piece was larger than his hands, and he was fairly certain he knew what he found thanks to a previous experience. Castillo had visited the Waco Mammoth National Monument before, and had seen another tooth that looked a lot like the one he'd stumbled upon.


According to a post on his Facebook page, he wanted to get confirmation from experts to be sure. Monument site manager Raegan King told KCEN TV that it was a tooth in the range of 10,000 to 50,000 years old.

She also told KCEN that finding mammoth teeth in pieces is not uncommon. Mammoths only had four molars and would go through multiple sets.

"It's also why a lot of the teeth are found in pieces and chunks," King told KCEN. "They're designed to break down and to grind down."

Castillo donated the tooth to the city of Waco, so it would stay at the monument. He said he did not want any money for it, a noble response considering the uniqueness of the find.

"I decided I wanted to donate it because I wanted other kids and visitors to be able to look at it and like be interested in the site," he said, "and also in Waco, because Waco is full of history."

READ MORE: Collapsed, Folded Fossil Found in Antarctica Turns Out to Be the World's Largest Reptile Egg