...the story behind this exciting new scientific undertaking, involving a seven-year-old girl who “did the right thing,” is equally unusual. Kylie Ferguson was hiking a short distance from the center with her mother when she noticed a white, shiny knob of “something” sticking out of the ground. She had just finished listening to a park ranger tell her group of Junior Paleontologists what to do if they found a fossil. So instead of disturbing that little white knob, Kylie went back to the visitor center and wrote up a detailed report about her find.
The park’s grown-up paleontologists didn’t dig it up either. They watched the little fossil all summer long as infrequent rains and steady winds continued to erode the sandy surface. By the end of the summer, their patience was rewarded! The little knob was actually an ancient tooth attached to the intact skull of a saber-tooth cat. It turned out to be a rare, museum-quality discovery, and prompted the decision to start a new “dig” in hopes of discovering more about the prehistoric cat and the environment in which it lived.