Farmer James Bristle discovered the remains of a woolly mammoth in his newly acquired soy field near Chelsea, Michigan. In this video from the University of Michigan, you can see the skull and tusks being lifted from the excavation site, as well as other muddy ancient animal bones. Via TIME:
Dan Fisher, a University of Michigan professor who studies the extinctions of mastodons and mammoths, drove out to the site and confirmed the discovery on Thursday. He said the creature was about 40 years old and was probably killed by humans, who then stashed the remains in a pond as a means of meat storage 10,100 to 15,000 years ago.
The discovery is a major one. Fisher said there are only 10 sites in Michigan where such significant remains of a mammoth skeleton have been uncovered.
UMich.edu reports that the University’s Museum of Paleontology team will next wash and study the bones for cut marks, a possible indication of early humans butchering the mammoth for food.
This MLive.com slideshow has additional photos:
Watch this next: The life and evolution of the Woolly Mammoth. Plus, Dietary Detective & Smithsonian Scientist Briana Pobiner.
Related reading: 10 fascinating facts about woolly mammoths.