Farmer discovers woolly mammoth’s remains in Michigan field
Farmer James Bristle and one of his friends were digging in a soybean field in southern Michigan earlier this week when they stumbled on the remains of a woolly mammoth that roamed the area thousands of years ago.
Bristle told reporters that when they first unearthed the nearly 15,000 years old woolly mammoth's remains that thought it was a bent fence post smeared with mud. Instead, it was part of the huge ancient creature's pelvis.
University of Michigan paleontologists later confirmed that the strange thing found in Washtenaw County's Lima Township was part of a woolly mammoth's remains. Excavators have recovered nearly a quarter of the animal's skeleton, including the pelvis, skull, numerous vertebrae, ribs, shoulder blades, and two tusks.
Researchers said the woolly mammoth might had been killed by humans for meat. Three boulders of the size of basketballs found near the remains suggested that humans used them to anchor the carcass in a pond.
Daniel Fisher, who led the dig, said, "We think that humans were here and may have butchered and stashed the meat so that they could come back later for it."
Mammoths and another elephant-like creature called mastodon were common in North America they mysteriously disappeared around 12,000 years ago. The bones of the mammoth will be scrutinized by researchers for cut marks that would point to human activity. The study may shed light on when humans arrived in the North America.
"When my 5-year-old grandson came over and saw the pelvis, he just stood there with his jaw wide open and stared. He was in awe," Bristle said.
"It was probably a rib bone that came up," Bristle told the Ann Arbor News. "We thought it was a bent fence post. It was covered in mud."
"It turns out we are dealing with carcass parts of animals , in some cases hunted, in other cases maybe not, but in any event, butchered by ancient humans, what we call Paleo-Indians -- people who lived in North America about 12 to 13,000 years ago," he said.
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