Michigan Farmer Digs Up big Woolly Mammoth Bones in Field

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 Michigan Farmer Digs Up Woolly Mammoth Bones in Field

Farmer James Bristle and a buddy were excavating a trench to lay a drainage pipe on the outskirts of Chelsea, Michigan, on Monday when their backhoe suddenly struck something hard eight feet beneath. The two mistakenly thought they had found a piece of wood that had been buried, perhaps a fence post, but soon realised they had found something entirely new: a giant three-foot-long bone.

We didn’t sure what it was, but Bristle commented, “We knew it was obviously a lot bigger than a cow bone.

The farmer, who thought the strange object may have been a dinosaur bone, contacted the University of Michigan Museum of Paleontology, which is only 10 miles from his field. A team of 15 students, coordinated by professor Daniel Fisher, director of the University of Michigan Museum of Paleontology, went to Bristle’s farm last Thursday to investigate the object. Due to a looming harvest deadline, Bristle only gave the team of palaeontologists one day to complete their work before he had to pick up their drainage project again.

With the aid of two nearby excavators, Fisher’s crew began a 10-foot-deep excavation hole at the crack of dawn.

After searching swiftly, the scientist found the remains of a prehistoric mammoth at Bristle’s farm.

People gathered as word of the finding spread throughout the day.

By sunset, the team had discovered almost 20% of the ancient elephant-like creature’s bones without stopping for food or drink. The palaeontologists used zip lines attached to a backhoe to delicately raise the mammoth’s gigantic skull and tusks.

They then put the vertebrae, ribs, pelvis, and shoulder blades from the skeleton onto a flatbed trailer before filling the hole.

Despite the fact that mammoths inhabited North America until they disappeared around 11,700 years ago, just 30 of the massive prehistoric creatures’ remains have ever been found in Michigan. Only five of those bones, according to Fisher, have been found with the same amount of detail as the one they found in Bristle’s field, according to the Detroit Free Press.

According to Fisher, the adult male whose bones were discovered was in his 40s and presumably died between 11,700 and 15,000 years ago. It has not yet been possible to date the mammoth’s bones.

The expert characterised the specimen as a woolly and Columbian mammoth hybrid known as a Jeffersonian mammoth after founding father Thomas Jefferson who had a keen interest in fossils.

According to Fisher, the mammoth bones were discovered to contain “excellent signs of human activity,” and he makes the assumption that ancient people may have killed the mammoth, sliced it up, and then buried its carcass in a body of water to preserve the meat for later use.

We think there were people there, and they may have slaughtered and stashed the meat so they could come back for it later, he said. A stone flake resting next to one of the tusks that might have been used as a cutting tool and the placement of the neck vertebrae in the correct anatomical sequence as opposed to a random scattering that typically occurs after a natural death were among the evidence.

Three basketball-sized boulders were also discovered with the remains and may have been used to weigh down the carcass.

Bristle has agreed to donate the mammoth bones to the University of Michigan for for study. The palaeontologists will clean the Bristle Mammoth, which bears the farmer’s name, and search for cut marks that would suggest the animal was slaughtered.

If there is proof of mammoth eating by humans, the final dating of the bones may help to move the date of the oldest known settlement of southeast Michigan forward.

Fisher intends to display the bones at the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History alongside fibreglass casts of the bones from more Michigan mammoths to form a complete skeleton.

This is not just my opinion. It belongs to everyone, Bristle said in defending his decision to donate the specimen to the University of Michigan.

We are paying it forward in this way. Many individuals will benefit from the fact that this mammoth will remain visible for a very long time.

If I can do that and make other people happy, I’ll consider it a successful day.

However, the farmer is unwilling to experience the same situation once more. I hope that doesn’t happen again, Bristle said. We must start farming again.