A pair of divers discovered a giant mammoth femur while sailing in Florida.
The leg bone of four feet is preserved in the sediment at the bottom of the Mir River, about 55 miles from Sarasota.
Roaming the area during the Pleistocene era, between 2.6 million and 10,000 years ago, Colombian mammoths can reach 13 feet in height and weigh over 10 tons.
Divers, both amateur paleontologists, believe that the femur is from a mammoth that died about 100,000 years ago.
The Mir River is known for its many fossils: the couple also found a tooth belonging to a saber-toothed tiger in the same expedition.
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Henry Sadler holds a 50-pound femur belonging to a Colombian mammoth. He and his friend Derek Demetra discovered the bone while diving into the Mir River in southwest Florida.
Derek Demeter and Henry Sadler discovered the 50-pound bone during one of their regular dives.
On an expedition on April 25 in the Mir River in southwestern Florida, Sadler ran and told Demeter that he had discovered something “amazing.”
It was a four-foot femur belonging to a Colombian mammoth, a distant relative of the Asian elephant that inhabited Florida during the Pleistocene era, between 2.6 million and 10,000 years ago.
“When I saw him, I couldn’t believe it. I refused, ”Demeter, director of the planetarium at Seminole State College, told Orlando Sentinel. “It was really great to see this discovered.”
Derek Demeter (pictured) estimates that the bone is about 100,000 years old. Colombian mammoths inhabited Florida during the Pleistocene era, between 2.6 million and 10,000 years
In addition to being avid divers, both Sadler and Demeter are amateur paleontologists.
“It weighs a ton, but.” [it’s an] amazing discovery! ‘Demeter wrote on social media.
The bone was well preserved, he told Fox 35, because it was buried under the sand in the riverbed.
No radiocarbon dating of the femur has yet been performed, but because of its density, Demeter estimated it to be about 100,000 years old.
Growing up to 13 feet tall and weighing more than 10 tons, the Colombian mammoth is one of the largest species of mammoth.
He traveled the Western Hemisphere from the northern United States to Central America.
Mammoths, along with most Pleistocene megafauna, began to disappear about 14,000 years ago.
Although they overlap with the first humans in North America for several thousand years, it is unclear whether climate change, overhunting, or other factors have led to their extinction.
Most of the remains found by the duo were modern, Demeter told Sentinel: He and Sadler found mussel shells. shark teeth and even spikes.
Growing up to 13 feet tall and weighing more than 10 tons, the Colombian mammoth is one of the largest species of mammoth. Experts are unsure whether the pursuit, climate change, or any combination of the two led to their extinction about 10,000 years ago.
“When you find this fossil and realize that there are giant, elephant-like creatures roaming around a once-likely pasture in Florida, it gives you a sense of wonder what it was like in ancient times,” he said. “It’s kind of like our way of traveling through time. This unleashes your imagination. ‘
The Mir River is a popular destination for fossil hunters who report finding megalodon teeth and bones of giant armadillos and sloths in their waters.
The same day they found the mammoth’s foot, Sadler also found part of a missing shark and a tooth belonging to a saber-toothed tiger.
The Mir River is a popular destination for fossil hunters: The same day they found the mammoth’s foot, Sadler also discovered the upper third of the saber-toothed tiger’s tooth.
“There’s only the top third of it, so it’s missing a lot,” Sadler wrote on Instagram. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime find, as is the mammoth leg bone. Looks like Derek and I are pretty lucky together.
Sadler, a high school teacher, had previously found other mammoth bones in the river, including vertebrae and part of his jaw.
He donated these specimens to the Florida Museum of Natural History, but used the leg bone as an aid.
“Right now, he’s sitting in the classroom where the kids can see him, touch him, feel him, and really get a history of the natural world,” Sadler said. “They heard about saber-toothed tigers and actually found a piece of one of these animals and revived it for these children; it’s just great.