JOURNEY TO THE JURASSIC
Tamiko shuffled along the beach on her hands and knees. The sharp pebbles dug into her skin, but she hardly noticed. She was focused on her favourite thing – hunting for fossils! There were millions of them mixed in with the sand and seaweed of Nemuro beach, where she lived in Japan. But spotting them was hard, and you had to concentrate.
Tamiko sifted through the sand with her fingers. The sharp edge of a stone caught her eye.
“Ha!” she said.
Tamiko lifted the stone from its sandy bed and brushed it clean. It was an ammonite fossil! She’d known as soon as she saw its spiral shell. Ammonites were sea creatures that had lived at the same time as the dinosaurs. They were related to the octopus and squid that swam in the seas today.
The ammonite nestled in Tamiko’s hand had once been alive, but over millions of years its remains had turned into stone.
Tamiko couldn’t wait to study her new treasure. She put the ammonite in her pocket and strolled home, passing tourists who’d come to see the small beachside town. She paused outside her favourite shop and gazed through the large window. Inside was a glittering display of crystals and semi-precious stones. The shop had fossils for sale, too, which were kept in a case at the back.
But something else caught her eye. On the shop door was a glowing compass symbol! A thrill ran through Tamiko. Her hand went to the matching compass badge on her T-shirt. The compass was the symbol for the Secret Explorers.
“Looks like we’ve got a new mission!” she said.
Taking a deep breath, Tamiko opened the shop door. But instead of the usual glass cases full of crystals and fossils, Tamiko walked into a dazzling white light. A strong wind whipped her short black hair around her head. She felt as if she was flying – and then the light faded.