A farmer and a property owner in Michigan were installing drainage pipe in a wheat field when they discovered a 3-foot-long bone that were later identified as a part of a mammoth pelvis, the University of Michigan said in a press release.
University of Michigan paleontologists worked in Lima Township, located about 10 miles southwest of Ann Arbor, to recover the skeleton of the animal, according to the release. They were able to retrieve the skull and two tusks, numerous vertebrae and ribs, the pelvis and both shoulder blades.
The bones came from an adult male mammoth that lived 11,700 to 15,000 years ago, paleontologist Daniel Fisher said. However, the remains have yet to be dated.
"We think that humans were here and may have butchered and stashed the meat so that they could come back later for it," Fisher said, according to the release.
The team said they believe the animal was placed in a pond for storage, explaining that two boulders found near the skeleton may have been used to anchor the carcass, the release said.
"We didn't know what it was, but we knew it was certainly a lot bigger than a cow bone," property owner James Bristle said, according to the release.