Michigan was digging into a field, for the purpose of drainage, when, about eight feet deep, they encountered a substance that looked like wood. As the Detroit Free Press reports, the farmers soon realized they were hitting not wood, but bone.
Is it a dinosaur bone? They called the University of Michigan, who relayed the news to Daniel Fisher, at the school’s Museum of Paleontology. Upon arriving at the scene, Fisher determined that it wasn’t the dinosaur the farmers had found – it was a mammoth.
Fisher and his colleague had just one day to uncover the mammoth’s skeleton, because the farmers needed to get on with their work, according to the Free Press. They were able to find a head, tusks, ribs and some vertebrae; the missing pieces may have been taken away by humans who possibly killed the creature for food.
There have been 30 or so other mammoths found in the state, the Free Press reports; this one, Fisher told the paper, may be a Jeffersonian mammoth—a hybrid that’s not quite a Woolly mammoth and not quite a Columbian mammoth, but still very large, very impressive, and very much not what you find doing fieldwork every day.