Wednesday, April 19, 2006

When did Mrs. Scrivens discover the mastodon bone?

Question from Mrs. Hansen's Class


Blogger Dr. Anthony L. Swinehart said...

Hi kids,

I'm looking forward to working with you as you study prehistoric Michigan.

Here's the answer to your first question: Mrs. Scrivens discovered the mastodont about two years ago, but part of the mastodont was actually dug out of the ground three years ago!

Three years ago, Mr. and Mrs. Scrivens had a back-hoe come and dig out their pond to make it bigger and deeper. All the dirt was placed in piles near the pond. That dirt set there for nearly a year until Mrs. Scrivens saw a bone sticking out of the dirt when she was collecting wildflowers near the dirt piles.

Mrs. Scrivens knew that the bone was too large to be a cow or a horse or other common animal. She brought it to me, and I was able to identify it as a front leg bone of a prehistoric mastodon -- a large, hairy relative of an elephant. Although mastodons are as big (or bigger) as some dinosaurs, they are not dinosaurs. They are mammals.

11:15 AM  
Blogger Andy Losik said...

Dear Dr. Swinehart,

Thanks for your great answers. We can't wait to ask you more questions. Hope you are ready!

-The 4th Graders

8:41 AM  

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