Whidbey Island dog digs up 13,000-year-old woolly mammoth fossil

Nov 27, 2018, 5:53 AM | Updated: 5:19 pm
A Columbian mammoth on display in London (AP)

A puppy on Whidbey Island dug up a bone that turned out to be a piece of a 13,000-year-old tooth from a woolly mammoth.

The South Whidbey Record reports the five-month-old dog, named Scout, dug up the prize in his backyard and brought it to his owner, Kirk Lacewell, who thought it was a rock.

Lacewell said he saw Scout carrying it around her backyard around two months ago. The next day, he saw it in his mouth again, took it from him, and washed it.

After it dried out in a couple weeks, it began to look more like a bone. Lacewell then sent photos to the UW’s Burke Museum, whose resident paleontologists determined that Scout had indeed found a piece of prehistoric treasure.

The woolly mammoth the partial tooth belonged to is thought to be a Columbia mammoth, one of the last in the line of the species that entered North America 1.5 million years ago. It could grow to as tall as 13 feet and weighed upwards of 22,000 pounds. Incidentally, it’s also the most common species of mammoth found in fossil form in the state.

Lacewell plans to keep the fossil in a display at his house. Experts say it’s not rare enough to be a museum piece. But that doesn’t matter to Scout, who still sniffs, and wags, and appears to want his mammoth chew toy back.

RELATED: Pets displaced by California fires arrive in Seattle shelters

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Whidbey Island dog digs up 13,000-year-old woolly mammoth fossil