Boy Discovers Million-Year-Old Fossil By Tripping Over It


It was supposed to be just an ordinary walk for 9-year-old Jude
Sparks and his family in Las Cruces, N.M., when the boy tripped
over and fell – only to find himself face to face with a
strange object that looked like a massive jaw.


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“It was just an odd shape,” Jude, now 10, said in a phone
interview for the New York Times on Tuesday. “I just knew it
was not something that you usually find.”

That’s when the boy’s parents, Michelle and Kyle Sparks,
stepped in. They took a photo of the object and decided to do
a little bit of research.

The Sparks sent the picture to , Peter Houde, a biology
professor at a nearby New Mexico State University. He got
back to them almost immediately, stating that the fossil
belonged to a long-extinct Stegomastodon – and the boy
tripped over its fossilized tusk. It is estimated that the
creature lived at least 1.2 million years ago.

“We’re really, really grateful that they contacted us,
because if they had not done that, if they had tried to do it
themselves, it could have just destroyed the specimen,” he
said. “It really has to be done with great care and
know-how.”

(h/t: nytimes)

It was supposed to be just an ordinary walk for 9-year-old Jude
Sparks and his family in Las Cruces…

Image credits: NMSU

Then the boy tripped over and fell – only to find himself
facing some massive jaw

Image credits: NMSU

“It was just an odd shape… I just knew it was not something
that you usually find”

Image credits: NMSU

The boy’s parents took a picture of it and sent it to a Biology
professor from a local university

Image credits: NMSU

It belongs to Stegomastodon, an elephant-like creature
that lived 1.2 million years ago

Image credits: NMSU

Watch the video here:

 


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Boy Discovers Million-Year-Old Fossil By Tripping Over It

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