Panama City man digs up a Triceratops tooth in Wyoming


PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) –  After hours of digging the grounds for dinosaur fossils, a Panama City man dug up a Triceratops tooth fossil.

Bob Sombathy made the unique discovery while on a trip to Wyoming with his son. The two joined in on a group dig led by Tate Geological Museum’s collections specialist J.P. Cavigelli.

Tate Museum Dinosaur Digs are open to the public and take place about five times every summer. The event consists of five days of digging in either the Cretaceous dinosaur beds or the Jurassic dinosaur beds in Wyoming.

“People pay us, and they come out, and we house them, we feed them, and we take them dinosaur-hunting,” Cavigelli said.

Sombathy says he wasn’t sure what he stumbled upon at first during the last dig, but Cavigelli was able to help identify it.

“We found a lot of little fossils but the one that seemed to have the most interest was a triceratops tooth, which was, um, it wasn’t worn away, which was something that got everyone’s attention,” Sombathy said.

What made Sombathy’s fossil unique is that is was not worn away like most fossils found in the area today. In comparison to most, his was large, whole and fully-rooted.

“It’s kind of like treasure hunting to me. You kind of know that it’s a fossil, but I didn’t know what it was,” Sombathy said. “And that’s why J.P. was so helpful. Coming up to us and helping us understand what it was we found.”

Sombathy’s triceratops tooth is now on display inside the Tate Geological Museum at Casper College in Wyoming.

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