Teenager Accidentally Discovers 34,000-Year-Old Mastodon Jaw
The jawbone of a 34,000-year-old mastodon — an elephant cousin that went extinct nearly 10,000 years ago has been discovered in a farm in Iowa, US.
According to the Iowa City Press-Citizen, the discovery was made by a teenager while searching for arrowheads on a friend’s farm in southern Iowa.
The 30-inch jawbone reportedly belonged to a juvenile mastodon, an elephant-like animal believed to have roamed Iowa some 34,000 years ago.
Officials with the University of Iowa Paleontology Repository, which now has possession of the bone found last week, say the mastodon might have stood around 7-feet tall.
The farmers who donated the jaw and related bones to the repository did so anonymously, saying they didn’t want to encourage people to trespass on their property looking for fossils.
There likely are more fossils on the land, as the owners found other mastodon remains there decades ago.