Daniel Lapoint Jr., a contractor from Michigan, has recently discovered the remains of an ancient creature known as a mastodon. The contractor was excavating his backyard when he came across the mastodon fossils.
Lapoint Jr. was helped by his neighbor Eric Witzke to dig in his backyard and were both surprised when the excavator revealed dirt with many big bones inside it. They said the bones were bigger than that of a normal animal so they assumed their discovery was something important.
At first, the two men believed they have unearthed some dinosaur fossils so they called a team of paleontologists from the University of Michigan. The scientists analyzed the bones and concluded that that they belonged to the distant relative of the elephant, known as the mastodon. This animal lived during the Ice Age and experts believe the ancient beast was very big, weighing up to 10,000 pounds.
Lapoint and Witzke decided to donate the mastodon fossils to the Museum of Paleontology that belongs to the University of Michigan.
Daniel Fisher, the director of the museum, said that in the state of Michigan there have been many mastodon bones discoveries, with almost 330 discoveries so far. Fisher added that most of the findings have occurred in the southern parts of the state and most of them were limited to a tooth or a couple of bones.
Compared to previous findings, the contractor’s discovery is a massive one. The mastodon remains include leg bones, shoulder bones, a hip, a tusk and a vertebrae. After the scientists analyzed the bones they’re come to the conclusion that the mastodon lived sometime between 10,000 and 14,000 years ago.
Also, the paleontologists said that what’s even more striking is that they found evidence that the ancient animal appeared to have been hunted and killed by humans.
Before giving the bones to the museum, Lapoint and Witzke said they would like to bring the bones to a local middle school so that the students can have a good look and even touch the mastodon fossils. Lapoint explained that as a kid he always wanted to touch the bones that were on the other side of the glass so he wanted to give the children the opportunity to do just that.
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