13,000-Year-Old Mastodon Bone Found by Boys in Their Backyard

The kids were simply playing, initially thought the bone was a rock

By on December 21st, 2012 21:31 GMT

This past summer, two kids playing near a creek in the Shelby Township, Michigan came across a peculiar object that immediately sparked their interest.

At first, the boys thought that it was a weird-looking rock, yet soon enough they came to understand that it was actually a bone. One of the boys' dad, who is a doctor, had a quick look at the object and confirmed that it was in fact a bone.

“We thought it might be a cool-looking rock, because I see a lot of those, until my cousin [Andrew] said, 'Hey wait a minute, I think this is a bone,'” Eric recollects.

Furthermore, “I said, 'I’m really not sure, let’s go home and show my Dad.’ My Dad’s a doctor. So my Dad looked at it and said, ‘Yep, it’s a bone.'”

Sources
report that the bone was later on turned over to specialists working with the Cranbrook Institute of Science.

They are the ones who have recently confirmed that, rather than belonging to a sheep or another run-off-the-mill animal, the bone came from an American Mastodon, a species that used to inhabit this part of the world nearly 150 centuries ago.

“The bone is likely between 13,000 and 14,000 years old, and is the fourth record of the American Mastodon from Macomb County,” explains geologist John Zawiskie from said institution.

“Judging from the size of this find [i.e. an axis bone, meaning a vertebra that connected the animal's spinal column to its brain], the animal was probably an adult around 8 or 9 feet high at the shoulders and weighing roughly 6 tons,” John Zawiskie went on to add.

Following the boys' finding this bone, paleontologists have decided to further investigate the area, yet no other discoveries have been made thus far.

Throughout the years, the remains of roughly 200 mastodons have been found in Michigan's Lower Peninsula.
Boys find mastodon bone while playing near a creek
   Boys find mastodon bone while playing near a creek
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