Puppy Digs Up 13,000-Year-Old Mammoth Fossil in Backyard
13,000 years after woolly mammoths roamed around Whidbey Island, Washington, parts of their skeletons are being dug up by dogs.
When Scout the yellow Labrador retriever was only 5-months-old, he discovered a fossil. "About two months ago I saw him carrying what looked like a rock around the yard and didn’t give it any thought," owner Kirk Lacewell said.
"When I saw him carrying it the next day I became interested, as he has never had any interest in rocks. I took it from him and at first I thought that it was a piece of petrified wood, something I collect."
"I washed it and decided that it wasn’t petrified wood. It took a couple of weeks to really dry out, but as it did it started looking like bone to me."
Kirk measured the fossil and sent photos to Elizabeth A. Nesbitt, curator of paleontology at University of Washingotn's Burke Museum. She was able to confirm that the fossil was part of a woolly mammoth's tooth and estimated it to be around 13,000 years old.
Since the piece is not rare enough to be in a museum, Kirk plans to keep it for himself in a shadow box.