Michigan: 6-year-old discovers mastodon tooth nature preserve
A 6-year-old boy discovered a 12,000-year-old mastodon tooth while wandering with his family in a Michigan wildlife preserve.
Julian Gagnon, 6, was out strolling with his family at the Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve on Sept. 6 when he came across an object he initially mistook for a “dragon’s tooth,” according to his parents.
Gagnon told the media, “I just felt something on my foot and I grabbed it up, and it kind of looked like a tooth.”
Gagnon’s parents permitted him to bring his find home, where the family examined it more closely and discovered it was maybe a fossil.
The discovery was recognized as the upper right molar of a juvenile mastodon, a species that lived in Michigan about 12,000 years ago, by the University of Michigan, Museum of Paleontologists.
According to the paleontology museum’s research and collection manager, Adam Rountrey, “Mammoth and mastodon fossils are relatively rare in Michigan, but compared to other places in the United States, there actually have been more occurrences.”
While both mammoths and mastodons are known to have lived in Michigan, experts say that finding them is rare since the animals’ bodies are usually devoured by scavengers before they can form fossils.
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