Rare woolly mammoth skeleton unearthed at Chelsea, Michigan farm | News sparks international interest

An ancient woolly mammoth skeleton was unearthed at a Chelsea farm this week. According to reports, University of Michigan archaeology professor Dan Fisher says the bones may be approximately 13,000 years old, and one of only about 30 of mammoths recovered in Michigan.

Not only is it amazing to find such a treasure in our own backyard, but we also have big hometown pride for Chelsea journalist Lisa Allmendinger from Chelsea Update and photographer Burrill Strong, who were the first to break this fascinating news that was picked up internationally!

Chelsea Update

NEW! Woolly Mammoth artifacts cleaned before they head to U-M Museum of Paleontology (with slide show)

Oct 7, 2015 | With about 33 steer on the Bristle farm curiously watching the activities Tuesday morning, a team of U-M paleontologists washed the mud off the skull and tusks of the Woolly Mammoth found on a Lima Township farm last week. Using water from two hoses, they carefully cleaned those and other artifacts. Then later in the afternoon, they removed the tusks from the skull to make it easier to carefully transport the bones to their new home at the U-M Museum of Paleontology. … [Read more and see photos on ChelseaUpdate.com]

NEW! Farmers hope unexpected find of a Woolly Mammoth skeleton hold clues to history. 

Oct 5, 2015 | Lima Township farmers Jim Bristle and Trent Satterthwaite hope their unexpected find of a Woolly Mammoth skeleton in a farm field last week hold clues to history. Sunday, the two spent the afternoon talking about the discovery of Woolly Mammoth bones, large stones, which likely weighed it down by the nomads who killed it, and tools used by those ancient people. Both are hoping that scientists can piece together the items found during the dig and that it could just rewrite history books. … [Read more on ChelseaUpdate.com]

Photo by Burrill Strong via Chelsea Update

Photo by Burrill Strong via Chelsea Update

Not a usual Sunday afternoon for Lima Township farmers who found Woolly Mammoth bones

Oct 4, 2015 | Farmers Jim Bristle and Trent Satterthwaite spent Sunday afternoon talking about their discovery of Woolly Mammoth bones on a Lima Township farm field, while invited guests got an up-close look and snapped photos with the find. … [Read more and see photos on ChelseaUpdate.com]

Possible Woolly Mammoth found on Lima Township Farm

Oct 1, 2015 | It appears that a Woolly Mammoth has been found on a Lima Township farm. According to the son of the farm owner, on Wednesday, his father and a neighbor were out digging a waterline when they found what appeared to be a bone and then a little later, what appeared to be pelvic bone. A call was placed to Daniel Fisher at University of Michigan and he came out to investigate. … [Read more on ChelseaUpdate.com]

Woolly Mammoth Photo Gallery by Burrill Strong


NEW! University of Michigan professor explains Chelsea-area mammoth origin

Oct 6, 2015 | What kind of mammoth skeleton is sitting in a barn near Chelsea, Michigan? University of Michigan Museum of Paleontology director Dan Fisher said there’s not an easy answer to that question. There were two types of mammoths roaming North America tens of thousands of years ago. … [Read more on MLive.com]

NEW! Michigan farmer donates mammoth skeleton to University of Michigan

Oct 5, 2015 | Jim Bristle wasn’t quite sure what to do when a giant mammoth skull was excavated from his Chelsea-area soybean farm last week. “Well, the wife said we’re not hanging it over the mantle,” he said Monday. “And I don’t think there’s a buck pole big enough for it.” The University of Michigan owes Bristle’s wife a big thank you, because the Lima Township farmer will be donating the entire mammoth skeleton to U-M for future study and display.  … [Read more and see videos on MLive.com]

Woolly mammoth remains are significant to Michigan’s prehistory

Oct 4, 2015 | Before farmers tilled the soil and students crossed the Diag with armloads of books, large prehistoric creatures like the woolly mammoth found near Chelsea on Thursday, roamed and owned Ann Arbor and the surrounding lands  … [Read more on MLive.com]

Farmer uncovers woolly mammoth bones near Chelsea, Michigan

Oct 2, 2015 | A farmer near Chelsea made a startling discovery Monday night: bones of a woolly mammoth possibly butchered by early human hunters thousands of years ago.  … [Read more on MLive.com]

What will become of woolly mammoth bones found near Chelsea?

Oct 2, 2015 | Eighty-five-year-old Paul Bollinger has lived in the Chelsea area all his life. For decades, he’s dug foundations for houses and graves. But the discovery of a woolly mammoth buried in a farm field shocked the old-timer. … [Read more on MLive.com]

Farmer unearths woolly mammoth skull, tusks and bones in Lima Township field

See excavation of woolly mammoth near Chelsea, Michigan

National Geographic

NEW! Woolly Mammoth Unearthed in Michigan—What Killed These Giants? Ice Age bones raise question of whether people or a changing climate killed off the beasts.

Oct 7, 2015 | The discovery of a nearly complete mammoth skeleton last week in Michigan raises the question of not only this animal’s fate, but also what happened to the rest of the woolly mammoths. Did humans drive the Ice Age’s great beasts to extinction? … [Read more on NationalGeographic.com]

WXYZ Detroit

NEW! Hundreds visit farm to see Woolly Mammoth bones – Remains being donated to University of Michigan

Oct 6, 2015 | More than 200 people traveled to the Lima Township farm where bones of a Woolly Mammoth were discovered. The farm’s owner, Jim Bristle, allowed people to visit before donating the remains to the University of Michigan’s Museum of Paleontology. “They got to touch it. The kids were excited. We had one lady yesterday who went and got her granddaughter out of school,” says Bristle. … [Read more and see video on WXYZ.com]

History Channel

NEW! Michigan Farmer Digs Up Woolly Mammoth Bones in Field

Oct 7, 2015 | A Michigan farmer reaped a startling harvest last week when he unearthed the partial skeleton of a prehistoric mammoth in his wheat field that could provide new evidence of human habitation. … [Read more on History.com]


Farmer uncovers 11,000-year-old mammoth

Oct 3, 2015 | A Michigan farmer was digging in a field when he discovered the bones of an 11,000-year-old wooly mammoth. [See video on CNN.com]



Michigan Man Accidentally Digs Up Rare Woolly Mammoth Bones

Oct 2, 2015 | A Michigan farmer stumbled upon the bones of a woolly mammoth this week. James Bristle was digging up a soy field near Chelsea, Mich., when an unusual bone caught his attention. At first he thought it was a mere fence post, but closer examination confirmed it was no ordinary find. …  [Read more on Time.com]


Michigan Farmer Discovers 10,000-Year-Old Woolly Mammoth Skeleton in Soy Field

Oct 3, 2015 | A farmer in Chelsea, Michigan, made a startling discovery straight out of the Ice Age on Monday while digging in a soy field near the state’s Lima Township. … [Read more and see video on People.com]

Washington Post

Farmer digs up woolly mammoth bones in Michigan soy field

Oct 2, 2015 | According to paleontologists from the University of Michigan, one local farmer may have made an epic fossil find. James Bristle of Lima Township was digging in a soybean field Monday when he and his friend pulled up what they first thought was a bent, muddy old fence post. … [Read more on WashingtonPost.com]

CBS Detroit

Woolly Mammoth Found South Of Chelsea, Michigan [PHOTOS]

Oct 1, 2015 | Something ancient has been unearthed near Chelsea, Michigan. Paleontologists from the University of Michigan spent the day digging up the bones of an adult woolly mammoth after a farmer came across it while at work in his field in Washtenaw County’s Lima Township. … [Read more on CBSlocal.com]

WXYZ Detroit

Farmer finds woolly mammoth bones in Washtenaw County field

Oct 2, 2015 | A farmer digging in his field near Chelsea, Mich. was digging when he made a mammoth discovery. James Bristle was digging in the soy field with his friend, when he found the remains of a woolly mammoth. The animal, which is part of Michigan’s history, has been extinct for more than 10,000 years. … [Read more on WXYZ.com]

ABC News

Michigan Farmer Unearths Bones of Rare Mammoth Hybrid from Nearly 15,000 Years Ago

Oct 2, 2015 | A farmer near Ann Arbor, Michigan, recently unearthed the skull, tusks and other bones of a mammoth possibly butchered by early human hunters nearly 15,000 years ago, according to a paleontologist at the University of Michigan. … [Read more and see video on ABCNews.com]

Detroit Free Press

Woolly Mammoth Bones Uncovered in Lima Township

Oct 1, 2015 | After a full day of digging through a soybean field near Chelsea, researchers at the University of Michigan confirmed two farmers’ fairly unusual discovery: a large set of bones belonging to a woolly mammoth. [Read more on Freep.com]

New York Times

Under a Farmer’s Field: A Woolly Mammoth in Michigan

Oct 2, 2015 | Buried beneath a Michigan farmer’s soy field were the butchered remains of a woolly mammoth. Paleontologists think that the skull, tusks, jaws and other parts that they uncovered on Thursday were stored there by early humans in a primitive fridge more than 10,000 years ago. [Read more on NYTimes.com]

The Wall Street Journal

Farmer Finds Woolly Mammoth Bones in Michigan Field: Study of the bones may shed light on when humans arrived in the Americas

Oct 3, 2015 | James Bristle and a friend were digging in his soybean field when they unearthed what looked like a bent fence post, caked with mud. Instead, it was part of a pelvis from an ancient woolly mammoth that lived up to 15,000 years ago. Study of the bones may shed light on when humans arrived in the Americas, a topic of debate among archaeologists. [Read more on WSJ.com]

BBC News

Michigan farmers discover woolly mammoth skeleton

Oct 2, 2015 | Two farmers in rural Michigan have uncovered a woolly mammoth skeleton in a soybean field. It is one of the most complete sets ever found in the state. The animal was an adult male in its 40s, and researchers excavated its skull, tusks, vertebrae and other bones, says the Detroit Free Press. The discovery was an accident. The farmers were digging a drainage ditch when they hit what they first thought were large pieces of wood. … [Read more on BBC.com]


Partial remains of woolly mammoth found in Michigan, near Canadian border

Oct 2, 2015 | The discovery of the partial skeleton of a woolly mammoth in a Michigan farm field is not just a story of an extinct creature, but also a story of the people who once roamed the area, says the professor who confirmed the finding. [Read more at CBC.ca]

Discovery News

Woolly Mammoth Found by Michigan Farmers

Oct 2, 2015 | Two farmers in Lima Township, Mich. stumbled upon the find of their lives while digging a drainage ditch. About 8 feet down, the Detroit Free Press reports, they struck bone and realized something large was buried in their midst. Soon University of Michigan researchers were on the scene, and after a more extensive excavation they determined the two farmers had found an adult woolly mammoth skeleton. [Read more at Discovery.com]

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