Surprise Mammoth

A farmer in Michigan was in for more than he bargained for when he tried to dig a drainage channel in his field.

Turns out an 11,700 to 15,000 old mammoth skeleton was buried beneath. He hit up the university of Michigan and the clock started ticking. With the harvest right around the corner, the paleontologists lead by Daniel Fisher had a mere day to excavate the once wooly remains. An excavator donated their entire day to the work and the team managed to recover the entire find.

We didn’t know what it was, but we knew it was certainly a lot bigger than a cow bone.

Bristle commented while watching the 10-foot-deep pit of clay. For a farmer, this decision is two-fold. While it is exciting to watch, it is a major disruption in the schedule. In my opinion a tough decision, but definitely a good one:

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.

Paleontology in action © 2015 University of Michigan Regents

Paleontology in action © 2015 University of Michigan Regents

The evidence Fisher and his team unearthed, suggests human influence. Boulders were discovered that have likely served to hold the mammoth remains down in a pond. Prior evidence, mainly from Europe suggests this was a form of preservation.

We think that humans were here and may have butchered and stashed the meat so that they could come back later for it.

Fisher said. Twenty percent of the mammoth skeleton were captured and can now be researched further to gain further insights into the local human ancestors. The next step will be to look for signs of butchering and other use of tools.

Read more here: U of M

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... is a geophysicist by heart. He works at the intersection of machine learning and geoscience. He is the founder of The Way of the Geophysicist and a deep learning enthusiast. Writing mostly about computational geoscience and interesting bits and pieces relevant to post-grad life.

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