The remains of a woolly mammoth which roamed the Earth up to 15,000 years ago have been unearthed on a Michigan farm.
The bones were found quite by accident, while farmer James Bristle and a friend were attempting to drain water from part of a soybean field on Monday.
The pair had dug around eight feet deep when they came across the remains, the Detroit Free Press reports.
The remains are of a male mammoth which was probably 40 years old when it died
After joking they had “found a dinosaur”, the pair were put in touch with Dan Fisher, a professor at the University of Michigan and the director of the Museum of Paleontology.
Bristle told Michigan Live: “It was probably a rib bone that came up. We thought it was a bent fence post. It was covered in mud.”
Professor Fisher said the adult male was probably 40-years-old when it died, that it lived between 10,000 – 15,000 years ago and was probably killed by humans for meat.
Professor Dan Fisher says the animal was likely killed for its meat
The mammoth is likely to have been kept in a pond, he said, explaining: “They did that to store meat and come back to it later.”
According to the Associated Press, mammoths and mastodons, another elephant-like creature, were common in North America before disappearing around 11,700 years ago.
Remains of about 300 mastodons and 30 mammoths have been discovered in Michigan, Fisher said, although most of the mammoth finds aren't as complete as the one in Bristle's field.
The remains are believed to be between 10,000 and 15,000-years-old