Fossil Find in Lycoming County

LEWIS TOWNSHIP -- A bone from a creature that lived millions of years ago in central Pennsylvania was dug up by a professor in Lycoming County recently. That fossil is now in the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia.

According to the professor, the femur bone he found comes from an animal that lived 365 million years ago.

To put that into perspective, experts believe dinosaurs weren't even walking the earth back then.

"It's a left femur of an early tetrapod, an early four-limbed animal," explained David Broussard.

Lycoming College Professor David Broussard knew what to look for when he stumbled upon this back in May; it's a 365 million-year-old fossil.

"My student and I, were out here and kind of looked down and part of this was sticking out the rock, this looks like a limb bone," Broussard recalled.

Broussard tells Newswatch 16 the fossil that can fit in the palm of your hand and belonged to an animal that lived in the water and on land.

"The chances of finding something like this are kind of low because there probably weren't that many around. This was a new type of animal that was just getting started."

While it may be uncommon to find a fossil like that in the grand scheme of things, there are thousands of fossils hidden right under the surface in central Pennsylvania.

"When PennDOT came through and blasted all of this, they exposed a lot of this and exposing the rock are these kind of really important transitionary fossils," Broussard said.

Broussard has a cast of the real fossil. The original is now in the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia along with hundreds of other fossils from all over the world.

"These tetrapods evolved into reptiles, modern amphibians, and mammals, and dinosaurs and this is where it all started," he said.

There will be an open house at Lycoming College on November 11 where prospective students are welcome to come and learn more about the fossil and what it would be like to go on a future dig with the school in Williamsport.

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