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A teenager finds prehistoric jaw bone of a mastodon on Iowa farm: report

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A teenager was a big surprise, while looking for arrows on an Iowa farm.

Instead of arrowheads, the teenager found a 30-inch jaw bone of a mastodon — a prehistoric hairy elephant, in connection with the mammoth. Mastodons went extinct about 10,000 years ago, according to LiveScience.

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A palaeontology team of the University of Iowa (UI), grabbed the jawbone, and other related bones in the weekend, according to WHOTV.

“We got the message a few weeks ago that someone had found a fossil in the middle of a small river, on the property,” Tiffany Adrain, the head of the UI Paleontology Repository told the outlet.

“It was actually a high school student who had found the object, and the landowners contact us and inform us [and] sent us photos. Now we could tell immediately it was a jaw of a mastodon,” she added.

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The bone, which was then donated by the farmers to the UI Paleontology Repository, is believed to have belonged to a young mastodon that may have been 7 metres high, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reported.

The couple that owns the farm and donated the bones to be asked, so that fossil hunters would not infringe on their property. About 30 years ago, they had found other bones on their land, which belonged to a woolly mammoth, WHOTV reported.

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“I think people find things all the time,” Adrain told the Press-Citizen. “Maybe they are canoeing, or fishing on a bank. Farmers, in particular, the country can spot things pretty easily.”

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