Fossils dating back 66 million years found outside Bangkok mall

More than 70 seashells embedded in a pathway outside a Bangkok shopping mall have been found to be the fossils of sea creatures that lived more than 66 million years ago, Thai experts have confirmed.

An eagle-eyed shopper first spotted the snail-shaped fossils, measuring up to 12 centimeters (five inches) in diameter, strewn along a 400-meter stretch of pavement near the Siam Mall Square in a major tourist area.

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Paleontologists from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment investigated and found 77 ammonite fossils.

Ammonites are sea creatures believed to have died out 66 million years ago, Preecha Saithong, director of the ministry’s fossil protection division, told AFP on Tuesday.

“The ammonites are real,” he said, adding that the fossils differed from those usually found in Thailand.

Local media reported that the trail was repaired two years ago and the seashells may have been embedded in the concrete as decoration by contractors.

Fossilized ocean molluscs, which lived during the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, are sold as souvenirs in several popular tourist destinations, including Madagascar and Morocco.

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Peggy P. Gilmore