“Humongous Bones” Found in West Michigan Were From Juvenile Mastodon 12,000 Years Ago
It's been a few days now, since construction workers found Wooly Mammoth bones (Not a dinosaur) in west Michigan, so there's been some time to process and observe the find.
Now, those working to unearth the bones, and scientists are saying this is an incredible find.
Ken Yonker works as the Kent County Drain Commissioner, and was working with his crew to replace a culvert near Kent City. One of his workers spotted something red in the soil, and upon further investigation, discovered it was a "humongous bone."
Workers quickly realized these weren't the bones of a standard farm animal, and contacted the University of Michigan, and Grand Rapids Public Museum, who sent representatives out to look over the scene. What they discovered was that the bone belonged to a MASSIVE Mastodon.
Experts now believe the bones belong to a Very Large Juvenile Mastodon, likely only 10 or 20 years old. Most Mastodon, or Mammoth bones found in Michigan belong to adults, which makes this find all the more unique.
Since the find a week ago, excavators have filled 108 bags with various bones from the animal, but have yet to find the skull or tusks. Sadly, this means it is unlikely they would be able to reassemble the skeleton.
So far, the majority of the bones seem to be leg, feet, back bones, and ribs. The owner of the property where the skeleton was found graciously said he would donate the remains to the Grand Rapids Public Museum.
Crews are still working to see if they can find the head of the animal. Once they are sure all of the bones are found, they will clean and dry them for 18 months before putting them on display.
This isn't the first time a Mastodon, or Mammoth have been found. In 2017, another construction crew building a housing development in Grand Rapids found bones, and last fall a 6-year-old found a Mastodon tooth.
Discoveries of Mastodon bones are now so common in Michigan, it was officially made the State Fossil in 2002.