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Kids in Michigan go fishing, pull up a 13,000 year old mastodon bone instead

When 11 year old cousins Eric Stamatin and Andrew Gainariu went fishing, it was supposed to be like any kid’s fishing trips, but instead of bringing home a big fish, the two boys ended up discovering a 13,000 year old mastodon bone. And mastodons are definitely cooler than pond fish.

"I thought it was a rock at first, but a couple minutes later I looked more at it, and I didn’t think it was a dinosaur bone, but I wasn’t sure," Eric Stamatin of Shelby Township Michigan told CNN on Thursday.

He and Andrew Gainariu, 11, from Troy, Michigan, were hunting for crayfish in the stream that extends from the middle branch of the Clinton River, as they often did, when they “got bored” and decided to build a dam.

They made an extraordinary discovery that June day.

John Zawiskie, a geologist and paleontologist at the Cranbrook Institute of Science confirmed in early November that what the “kids just being kids outside” discovered was not a rock at all, but an axis, a specialized second vertebrae behind the skull in the spinal column of an American mastodon.

“These animals have been extinct for 10,000 years,” Zawiskie told CNN. He works extensively on subjects in this time period, and noticed the distinct bone from the prehistoric elephant-like mammal right away.

“Oh my gosh, we were like psyched,” Stamatin said of learning it was a real mastodon bone. “I was like I think we are the first people in Michigan to find a bone (who) are only 11 years old.”


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    I’m glad some kids out there are having a kick ass time!
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