Mastodon bones discovered at Michigan construction site

A developer found the bones while doing a construction project.

BYRON TOWNSHIP, MICH. - Paleontology experts are investigating the discovery of prehistoric mastodon bones at a Michigan construction site.

The Grand Rapids Press reports that workers found the bones Aug. 31 while excavating a road at a housing development in Byron Center, south of Grand Rapids. It wasn't until Tuesday that a University of Michigan researcher said the bones were the remains of a mastodon skeleton estimated to be around 10,000 years old.

Officials with developer Eagle Creek Homes say the company currently possesses five large pieces of bone and some smaller pieces. 

"My guys came across something that looked like logs and debris," said Joe Seireveld of Eagle Creek Homes. "As we're cleaning and washing it off, we're like, 'What is this?" 

"Lower jaw here," said Seireveld. "That's was the kicker that went, we got something here."

At first, they didn't believe what they had. "We were like, 'yeah right!'"  But, they had themselves a Mastodon. "What do you say to that? Wow!"

Researchers believe the pieces belonged to a male American mastodon that lived for two or three decades.

Eagle Creek says the company is talking to the university about potentially donating the bones and working together at the site.

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© 2017 Associated Press


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