In June, a construction crew digging for the Utilities Extension Project in the city of Cape Coral, Florida, discovered what scientists believe to be a large bone fragment from a mastodon or perhaps a mammoth, cites Fox News. The crews who unearthed this fossil were digging along SW 19th Avenue. Reports of this find were not released until August 10, 2018. As of now, it is unclear exactly how old this bone actually is.
Archaeologists believe there are more fossils in the area. While the exact date of this particular bone fragment has not been stated as of yet, The News-Press stated that the bone could be older than 2 million years, yet NBC2 placed the age at around 12,000 and 250,000-years-old. The fossil was found at 13 feet deep inside the earth. Measuring in at about a foot in length and 10 inches in width, this fragment is the end of a humerus bone, which connects to the shoulder to the elbow, says reports from Wink News.
Ethan Soehnlein of Cape Coral spoke to reporters, exclaiming what he feels about the unearthed, prehistoric bone fragment.
“[It’s] a big big animal, like elephants today, but mammoths were much, much bigger. I’d never expect to find a mammoth bone in my home city. I think that’s crazy because that’s a big piece of history and who knows there might be more.”
— City of Cape Coral – PIO (@CapePIO) August 10, 2018
The executive director of IMAG says he thinks there are only two kinds of mammoths to which this bone could belong, ruling out the wooly mammoth.
“We didn’t have the wooly mammoth here, we had the Colombian mammoth and the mastodon, which are relatives of today’s elephants,” he said. Johnson believes that Cape Coral, Florida, is potentially housing thousands of fossils beneath the earth.
However, despite archaeologists wishing to dig for more possible bone fragments, the land from which this piece was found belongs to the City of Cape Coral. The city has said they will not halt their project in order for scientists to search the ground.
Another resident of the city, Pedro Rios, insinuated to journalists that pushing pause on the Cape Coral city project wouldn’t be a bad idea, although he does understand keeping to a schedule.
“I guess I understand keeping a schedule, but if you could pause even for a second, just to see if there’s something else, that would be cool.”
Since the fossil was not found on city-owned land, the project will continue, as per the city. If it had been found on state-owned land, then a mandate would have gone out to stop the project and look for more fossils, says Wink News.