I suppose if you spend enough time in a duck blind, you might eventually see just about everything. Robert Kyikavichik from Old Crow, Yukon can attest to this as he spotted a usual bone-looking item protruding from the Crow River on one of his recent duck hunting trips.
“We just noticed an unusual bone sticking up … so we went to check it out,” he told CBC News.
“When I’m travelling along the river, up the Crow, you always keep an eye out for stuff like that, but I didn’t expect to come upon something like this.”
What was later confirmed by a paleontologist as a woolly mammoth femur bone could very well be from one of the original woolly mammoths in North America. Despite uncovering other bones and fossils, Kyikavichik has never found a specimen quite this large, one Yukon Government paleontologist Grant Zazula refers to as “pretty impressive”.
“We don’t usually find complete bones in that area because they’ve been rolling around in a river and getting banged up by rocks and other things.
“So to find something fairly complete like that is pretty nice,” Zazula said.
What makes discoveries in this area so interesting is that despite the possibility of the remains being nearly a million years old, they belong to some of the first mammoths to grace the continent, crossing over the Bering land bridge from Asia.
It’s expected that the bone will remain in Old Crow and will be an addition to the local collection held by the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation.
H/T: CBC News
Image: Marla Charlie / CBC News