James Bristle of Lima Township, Michigan, dug up what he first thought was a fence post, but it was a bone -a mammoth bone! The farmer contacted the University of Michigan, who sent paleontology professor Daniel Fisher out to get a look. Such bones are reported occasionally, but they usually turn out to be from mastodons. This one was a genuine woolly mammoth. Was there more to it? Fisher wanted to find out, but there was a catch- Bristle could only spare one day for an excavation, because farm work can’t just stop for an indefinite dig. So Fisher and his team did a banzai dig on Thursday, and carefully and quickly recovered the bones. So far, they are excited about the find.
“We think we’re dealing with an animal that was at least butchered by humans,” even if the humans didn't kill it, Fisher said. He believes the carcass was placed in a pond — a practice he's observed evidence of at other dig sites in the area. “It was essentially stored meat,” he said.
Fisher doesn't have quite as much evidence as he'd like to confirm that theory, but he hopes that the bones will yield more information.
Legally, the bones still belong to Bristle, because the university didn’t have time before the dig to secure a donation. Bristle has yet to decide whether the school will have long-term access to the skeleton. Read more on the story at The Washington Post. -via TYWKIWDBI