A few divers discovered a giant mammoth femur on a diving trip in Florida.
The three-foot leg was preserved in the sediment at the bottom of the Peace River, about 90 miles from Sarasota.
Roaming the area during the Pleistocene, between 2.6 million and 10,000 years ago, Colombian mammoths could reach 4 meters in length and weigh more than 10 tons.
The divers, both amateur paleontologists, believe the femur came from a mammoth that died about 100,000 years ago.
Peace River is known for its many fossils: the couple also found a saber-toothed tiger’s tooth on the same expedition.
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Henry Sadler holds up a 50-pound thigh that belongs to a Colombian mammoth. He and his friend Derek Demeter discovered the bone while diving the Peace River in southwest Florida
Derek Demeter and Henry Sadler found the 50-pound bone on one of their regular dive trips.
During an April 25 expedition in the Peace River in southwest Florida, Sadler came running and told Demeter that he had found something “wonderful.”
It was a four-foot thigh that belonged to a Colombian mammoth, a distant relative of the Asian elephant that lived in Florida 2.6 million to 10,000 years ago during the Pleistocene.
‘When I saw it, I couldn’t believe it. I was in denial, ”said Demeter, planetarium director at Seminole State College Orlando Sentinel. “It was really nice to see that discovered.”
Derek Demeter (pictured) estimates that the bone is about 100,000 years old. Colombian mammoths inhabited Florida during the Pleistocene, between 2.6 million and 10,000 years ago
In addition to being avid divers, both Sadler and Demeter are amateur paleontologists.
‘It weighs only a ton [it’s an] incredible discovery! Demeter wrote on social media.
The bone was well preserved, he said Fox 35because it was buried under the sand in the river bed.
Radiocarbon dating has not yet been done on the femur, but due to its density, Demeter theorized that it was about 100,000 years old.
The Colombian mammoth, which grew up to 4 meters high and weighed more than 10 tons, was one of the largest mammoth species.
It roamed the Western Hemisphere from the Northern United States to Central America.
Mammoths, along with most of the Pleistocene megafauna, became extinct about 14,000 years ago.
Although they overlapped the first humans in North America for thousands of years, it is not clear whether climate change, overhunting, or other factors led to their extinction.
Most of the remains the duo found are contemporary, Demeter told the Sentinel: He and Sadler found scallops. shark teeth and even stingray spines.
The Colombian mammoth, which grew up to 4 meters high and weighed more than 10 tons, was one of the largest mammoth species. Experts are unsure whether overhunting, climate change, or a combination of the two led to their extinction some 10,000 years ago
“When you discover this fossil and realize that there were gigantic, elephant-like creatures roaming what was probably once a Florida grassland, you get a sense of wonder at what it looked like in ancient times,” he said. ‘It’s a bit like our way of time travel. It lets your imagination run wild. ‘
The Peace River is a popular destination for fossil hunters, who have reported finding megalodon teeth and bones from giant armadillos and sloths in its waters.
The same day they found the mammoth bone, Sadler also found part of an extinct shark and a saber-toothed tiger’s tooth.
The Peace River is a popular destination for fossil hunters: On the same day they found the mammoth bone, Sadler also discovered the top third of a saber-toothed tiger’s tusk
“ There’s only the top third, so it’s missing quite a bit, ” Sadler wrote on Instagram. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime find, just like the mammoth bone. Apparently Derek and I are very lucky together. ‘
Sadler, a high school teacher, previously found other mammoth bones in the river, including vertebrae and part of a jaw.
He donated those specimens to the Florida Museum of Natural History, but he uses the leg bone as a teaching tool.
“It’s in the classroom right now where the kids can see it, touch it, feel it and really get a history of the natural world,” Sadler said. “They’ve heard about saber-toothed tigers and actually found a piece of one of those animals and brought it to life for those kids; it’s just great. ‘