Farmer Digs up Woolly Mammoth Bones in Field


After a full day of digging through a soybean field near Chelsea, Mich., researchers at the University of Michigan confirmed a farmer's fairly unusual discovery: a large set of bones belonging to a woolly mammoth.

The find Thursday afternoon represents one of the more complete sets of woolly mammoth bones to ever be found in the state, said Dan Fisher, a professor at the University of Michigan and the director of the Museum of Paleontology.


“It’s a pretty exciting day,” James Bollinger, an excavator and local resident who lent his services to the dig, told the Free Press Thursday. “I’ve been digging for 45 years and I’ve never dug anything up like that.”

The bones were first discovered on Monday, in what amounted to pure accident. Neighbors Trent Satterthwaite and James Bristle, both farmers, were on Bristle’s farm on Scio Church Road in Lima Township, working to drain water from part of the field.

They had dug about 8  feet deep when a wood-like substance started to appear. Pretty soon they realized the wood was actually bone.

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Photo: Courtesy of the University of Michigan

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