On Monday, a Michigan farmer named James Bristle discovered a near-complete Woolly mammoth skeleton in his soy fields, a find that paleontologists have since confirmed is genuine. The animal died some 11,000 to 15,000 years ago at roughly 40 years of age, and may well have been slaughtered at the hands of Neolithic peoples.
"We think we're dealing with an animal that was at least butchered by humans," University of Michigan paleobiologist Daniel Fisher told the Washington Post.
Footage of the excavation. Video: University of Michigan/YouTube
In other words, humans may not have actually downed the animal themselves, but there is some evidence that they deliberately stashed it in a pond to preserve the meat. Apparently, this was a fairly common food storage tactic for ancient peoples in the area.
This random discovery validates the daydreams of every child who has imagined stumbling across fossils in their backyard, and sure enough, there was a requisite kid on hand to bask in the sheer wonder of the fossilized beast.
"My grandson came over to look at it, he's five years old," Bristle told the Ann Arbor News. "He was speechless."
And that, my friends, is how you make a future paleontologist.