A teenager has discovered a jaw of a mastodon – an old relative of the elephant and the mammoth – on a farm in southern Iowa by a teenager.
The bone still has a row of teeth and is the second fossil that has been discovered on the farm for the past 30 years.
It is suspected that he belonged to a young member of the prehistoric animal that was perhaps about a meter long and lived in ancient Iowa around 34,000 years ago.
The species died extinct about 10,000 years ago, possibly due to changes in their habitat, scientists say.
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A teenager has discovered a jaw of a prehistoric mastodon (photo) – an old relative of the elephant in southern Iowa on a farm where a mastodon fossil was found 30 years ago
People have long been blamed for the extinction of the American mastodon, but DNA testing shows that they died out long ago.
The newest copy was discovered by the school student while looking for arrowheads.
The latest is the second Mastodon fossils in 30 years on site, with the last discovered by the couple who own the farm while fishing on site.
They transferred the new bones to the University of Iowa (UI) and asked to remain anonymous, so fossil hunters do not visit their property.
The remains are now kept in a cupboard in Trowbridge Hall at the University of Iowa.
Tiffany Adrain, collection manager at the Palaeontology Repository of the UI, said that these remains are somewhat common, especially along waterways in Iowa.
& # 39; A few weeks ago we were told that someone had found a fossil in the middle of a river on the site.
& # 39; It was actually a high school student who had found the object, and the landowners contacted us and informed us (s) sent us photos.
& # 39; Now we could see immediately that it was a jawbone of a mastodon & # 39 ;, she added.
These discoveries are more common than people think, Mrs. Adrian said.
UI & # 39; s Palaeontology Repository has a number of prehistoric fossils from Iowa, many of which are large mammals that have lived in the last 150,000 years. The image shows an almost complete lower jaw bone with worn teeth from an adult university mastodon
The species (pictured) died out about 10,000 years ago, possibly due to changes in their habitat, although scientists remain uncertain (stock photo)
& # 39; I think people find things all the time, & # 39; she said.
& # 39; Maybe they are canoeing or fishing on a couch. Farmers in particular can see things fairly easily on the land. & # 39;
UI & # 39; s Palaeontology Repository has a number of prehistoric fossils from Iowa, many of which are large mammals that have lived in the last 150,000 years.
These include sloths, beavers, short-faced bears, bison and camels.
While it was traditionally assumed that mastodons roamed in areas in the Arctic and Subarctica when they were covered with ice sheets, scientists now think that the area was only temporarily home to the animals when the climate was warm.
The preferred habitat of the massive animals of forests and wetlands is abundant with green food.
They also disappeared before people colonized the region according to radiocarbon dating of mammalian fossils.
Last year Michigan fossil hunters dug up the bones of a mastodon that they claim to be the most complete skeleton found in the region since the 1940s. The remains are one of the most complete specimens exposed in decades (pictured)
The bone has still attached the teeth of the mammal and is the second fossil found on the same farm in the last 30 years (see map).
The findings showed that mastodons underwent local eradication for a few tens of millennia for human colonization – the first estimate being between 13,000 and 14,000 years ago.
They also indicated that the creatures died before climate change began at the end of the ice age some 10,000 years ago, when they were among 70 species of mammals to disappear completely in North America.
Last year, fossil hunters Michigan has unearthed the bones of a mastodon that they claim is the most complete skeleton found in the region since the 1940s.
The huge beast of the ice age was said to have wandered around the region nearly 13,000 years ago and possibly been knocked down by a group of prehistoric human hunters before it lay undisturbed for thousands of years.
WHY IS THE MASTODON EXCELLENT?
Radio-carbon dating of North American fossils suggests that mastodons are extinct before people can hunt them out.
People have long been blamed for hunting the American mastodon – an old relative of the elephant – until extinction.
Experts still don't know for sure why the animals died out, but now think that changing habitats from forests to tundra might have played a role.
Arctic and subarctic were only temporary homes for mastodons when the climate was warm, according to the new international study
But new data suggests that mastodons became extinct around 75,000 years ago in the eastern Beringia areas, following a change in habitat from forest to tundra.
Mastodons occupy high widths between 125,000 and 75,000 years ago when it was covered with forests.
But ecological changes led to habitat loss and collapse of the population.
After this, mastodons were limited to areas south of the continental ice sheets, where they died out completely more than 10,000 years ago before the first people crossed Bering Street – or the beginning of Pleistocene climate changes.
The study says that local extinction of mastodon was independent; of their later extinction south of the ice.
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