Colorado

Oct 5, 2009 9:52 AM by Associated Press

Teenagers find rare mastodon fossils in creek

Two 13 year-olds exploring a creek bed near their homes discovered a mastodon mandible and tusk that could be 150,000 years old.

The discovery this summer marks the third time in Colorado that traces of the mastodon have been found. The previous discoveries were a tooth fragment found in 1875 and a full molar found sometime before 1924.

The teenagers, Jake Carstensen and Tyler Kellett, were exploring near their homes about 25 miles southwest of Denver when they found a large animal jaw in June. The pair did some searching on the Internet and realized that the mandible belonged to the American mastodon, a relative of the elephant.

A museum curator confirmed the boys' conclusion, and further exploration of the creek unearthed a five-foot segment of the animal's tusk. The findings were donated to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.

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