Fossil hunter reportedly finds 12-million-year-old crab in stone

A New Zealand paleontology buff claims he discovered a 12-million-year-old crab fossil at a Christchurch beach.

A self-described amateur fossil hunter by the name of Morne posts findings from his exploits on the YouTube channel Mamlambo. On April 6, he shared a video of the rare crab fossil, which has since garnered over 90,000 views.

“I found a fossil crab on a beach in New Zealand and then used an air scribe to remove the rock to show the fossil crab,” Morne told Newsflare. “It took about 10 hours and I made a time-lapse of it.” 

In the video, the crab looks like an ordinary grey stone before Morne slowly chips away pieces of the rock using the air scribe and reveals a claw. The crab’s body finally becomes visible from the remaining stone, after a few more hours of work.

“It [the fossil] is dated by the age of the rock it is found in, Miocene era in this case,” Morne said. “The rock layers have been dated by some geologists using a variety of techniques. I use that information to date it. It isn’t very specific, rather a range.”

Morne said the species of crab is tumidocarcinus giganteus, one commonly found in New Zealand.

“You do just a fantastic job showing how you clean up the specimens and I find it so interesting to see the reveal of the body,” one viewer commented on his video. “You are so thorough and have patience! Thank you for sharing. You and your family stay healthy and be safe.”

“There’s something really satisfying and beautiful to see a fossil preparation,” another said. “Seems like it makes it alive again.”

“It’s so fascinating and it came out great,” a third added. “Such an art to know when to stop before you’re gluing it back together.”

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