A remarkable discovery has been made by a farmer in the North American state of Michigan. The remains that were accidently stumbled upon belonged to a Woolly Mammoth that lived about 12 to 15 000 years ago.
Roughly a fifth of the animals bones have been saved during the excavation. Amongst the bones that were pulled out, the skull, two tusks, numerous vertebrae and ribs were very prominent. As well as the pelvis and both shoulder blades.
Archaeologist experts from the University of Michigan think that the mammoth may have been killed in a hunt and the meat was hidden so that they could return to it later for consumption.
The partial skeleton was discovered by farmer James Bristle who was digging in a wheat field with a friend to install a drainage pipe. The mammoth is said to have been an adult male which was probably in its late 40s when it died.
He told the media: "It was probably a rib bone that came up. We thought it was a bent fence post. It was covered in mud."
Video footage showed the bones being recovered in a 10ft-deep pit by a team from the university. The remains have not yet been dated.
Professor Daniel Fisher, director and curator at its Museum of Palaeontology, told media he knew exactly what it was when he saw the bones.
"I saw a part of a shoulder blade and there is a certain curve on a certain part of it that goes one way if it's a mastodon and another way if it's a mammoth," Prof Fisher said.
"I recognised that and said 'hmmm, I think we have a mammoth here.' "
Mammoths and mastodons, which are another elephant-like prehistoric creature, once roamed North America before disappearing about 11,700 years ago.
Over the years, the remains of about 300 mastodons and 30 mammoths have been recovered in Michigan. "We get one or two calls like this a year, but most of them are mastodons," Prof Fisher said.