A paleontologist whose beachfront home in Texas was destroyed during Hurricane Ike has found a football-size tooth in the debris.

Dorothy Sisk and Jim Westgate are scientists at Lamar University. They discovered the fossil tooth in the front yard of Sisk's home in Caplen on the devastated Bolivar Peninsula.

Westgate believes the fossil is from a Columbian mammoth common in North America until around 10,000 years ago.

The tooth looks like a series of boot soles or slices of bread wedged together. It is expected to be sent to the Texas Memorial Museum in Austin.

More than 1 million people fled the Texas coast because of Hurricane Ike.

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