A few months ago, farmer James Bristle acquired a parcel of land near Chelsea, Michigan. Little did he know that the parcel would do more than make his pre-existing farmland a bit larger. It turned out to be something of mammoth proportions.
While digging beneath his soybean field he uncovered what he thought was an old fence post. It turned out to be the remains of a woolly mammoth. The find was confirmed by Daniel Fisher, a professor at the University of Michigan and director and curator at the university's Museum of Paleontology. In a statement to CBS News, Fisher said, “I saw a part of a shoulder blade and there is a certain curve on a certain part of it that goes one way if it's a mastodon and another way if it's a mammoth. I recognized that and said ‘I think we have a mammoth here.’”
Fisher and his team retrieved bones from the site, including "very nice skull and tusks," ribs and vertebra, and the mammoth's jaw. The "mammoth was probably around 40 years old at the time of its death and had lived between 10,000 and 15,000 years ago. The creature was likely hunted by humans, who stashed it in a pond for preservation after killing and butchering it,” he said.
The team also found stone tool garments and three large boulders which support the idea the animal was hunted. The woolly mammoth lived during the Pleistocene era. It is one of the last in a line of mammoth species. Researchers say the animal, with its enormous tusks and trunk, looked a bit like a furrier version of the modern-day elephant. And as this find confirms, actually co-existed alongside humans before its extinction.
Mr. Bristle said the find was "out of the norm." His 5 year old grandson had a more mammoth reaction: he was speechless!
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