Kit Steinkellner
October 03, 2015 12:26 pm

Farmer James Bristle was doing some drainage work on his property located about 10 miles southwest of Ann Arbor, Michigan when he hit something large.  At first, Bristle thought what he struck might have been an old fence post, but when he kept digging with his back hoe, he uncovered a 3-foot-long bone that turned out to be part of the pelvis of a woolly mammoth.

“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 told The Detroit News. “So I think [continuing the dig] was the right thing to do.”

We are with Farmer Bristle here. When Bristle turned the dig over to some excavation professionals, in a day’s time they found the top of the skull, ribs, teeth, and neck vertebrae, as well as both tusks, which measured eight feet long. They didn’t find the legs or the feet, but let’s give credit where it’s due, the team basically uncovered a woolly mammoth skeleton.

As local paleontologist Dan Fisher, who headed up the dig, explained to The Detroit News, he gets about 1-2 calls like Bristle’s per year, but most of those findings turn out to be mastodons, and it’s rare to find a skeleton as complete as the mammoth on Bristle’s property. To date, only ten mammoth remains have been discovered in the Michigan area that are as substantial as Bristle’s findings.

So how did the woolly mammoth die? Um, well, as it turns out, it was us. Well, our great-great-great-plus-a-million-more-greats ancestors who lived 11,0000 to 15,0000 years ago and, somewhere in that time frame, hunted this particular mammoth, and then stored the meat in a pond for later consumption, as was the practice in these pre-refrigerator caveman times.

So the question of course becomes what are they going to NAME the wooly mammoth? We vote naming after the 5-year-old grandson. That little dude deserves big credit for setting this awesome dig into motion.

Related:

Obsessing over this just-discovered “prehistoric cow”

Why Dr. Ellie Sattler from “Jurassic Park” is my role model

Image via 20th Century Fox

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