Farmer finds woolly mammoth bones in Michigan field
Bones from an ancient woolly mammoth have been found on a farm in Michigan in America.
Scientists from the University of Michigan and an excavator recovered about 20 percent of the animal’s skeleton last week in Lima Township.
While he and a friend were digging in his soybean field, they came across what they thought was a misshapen fence post. Up to date about one fifth of the animal, which lived about 12-15,000 years ago have been recovered.
Fisher, director of the University’s Museum of Paleontology, confirmed that the remains belong to a woolly mammoth.
Paleontology Ph.D. candidate John Fronimos watches as the mammoth skull and tusks are hoisted from the excavation pit.
Three boulders the size of basketballs found next to the remains may have been used to anchor the carcass in a pond, he said.
The American mastodon is the youngest and best-known species of the genus and disappeared from America 11-12,000 years ago as part of a mass extinction.
The bones will be cleaned and examined by university researchers for cut marks that would indicate human activity, Fisher said. He went on to explain that over the years they have recovered about 300 mastodons in comparison to only 30 mammoths.
Study of the bones may shed light on when humans arrived in the Americas, a topic of debate among archaeologists.
Generally, when bones are discovered on a property, the bones belong to the property’s owner. Fisher is a professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.
Bristle said the discovery is both exciting and disruptive. “He was in awe”, Bristle said. “So I think this was the right thing to do”.