KENT COUNTY, Mich. (WWMT) — A construction project turned into a dig site after road crews uncovered mastodon bones last week in Michigan.
The skeleton appeared to be 60% of a single, juvenile mastodon that died over 11,700 years ago, Dr. Cory Redman, the Grand Rapids Public Museum's science curator, said.
Crews were working on the Geers Intercounty drain construction project in Newaygo when Drain Commissioner Ken Yonker said an orange tint in the soupy mud had the team growing suspicious that it could be bones.
"We were in shock. We were holding a piece of history," he said.
The bones are expected to be on view at the Grand Rapids Public Museum, but the conservation process could take up to 1 1/2 years until they're ready for display, Redman said.
"The Grand Rapids Public Museum is pleased to receive the Clapp Family Mastodon into our Collections," Redman said. "Most of the objects in the Museum's Collections were donated by people in the community, like the Clapp Family, so those objects could be shared with the broader community and preserved for future generations. "
The museum is working with the University of Michigan's Museum of Paleontology to continue studying the bones.