Updated: Wednesday, 01 Jul 2009, 11:12 PM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 01 Jul 2009, 5:37 PM EDT
PORTLAND, Mich. (WOOD) - Excavators expanding a pond in the backyard of a Portland-area home unearthed mastodon bones, a find confirmed by a University of Michigan professor.
Annette Schneider told 24 Hour News 8 the excavators were working in her backyard on Marsalle Road when they came across bones. Massive bones.
A massive leg bone was found, along with ribs, a tusk, toes, ribs and a kneecap. The professor, Dr. Dan Fisher, who teaches ecology and evolutionary biology, believes the mastodon did not die there, because the skeleton was not intact or complete, but thinks the Schneiders uncovered a dumping ground for the bones.
The bones are between 10,000 and 13,000 years old, confirmed Fisher, who said he believes the mastodons were killed by Native Americans.
U-M is out of funds and can't continue digging, so Schneider is finishing the task. She plans to donate the remains to the university next week, where they will be cleaned and studied.
American Mastodons were the largest land animals living during the Ice Age, similar to elephants, covered in hair. They traveled in herds and were hunted by humans in North America.
24 Hour News 8 will continue to follow this story.