Mastodon tooth find thrills Mich. family

January 6, 2007

The way a Michigan man found three mastodon teeth may not be as adventurous as an Indiana Jones movie, but the discovery was just as exciting.

Billy and Jeanette Sizemore found the three mastodon molars -- each measuring about 7 inches long and 3 1/2 inches thick -- while clearing rocks from a path on their property near Montrose, Mich., the Flint (Mich.) Journal said.

"It's exciting. It's like we're a part of history, like we've discovered something the whole family can be proud of," said Troy Sizemore, Billy's father, whose property adjoins his son's.

Sheila Swyrtek, a geology professor, confirmed the teeth were three permanent lower molars of a mastodon, an extinct hairy elephant-like mammal that once roamed lower Michigan.

The family is discussing with local colleges the possibility of the property becoming an archeological dig site which will be like going to Disney World" for his grandchildren, Sizemore said.

"They're having dreams of finding dinosaurs in their yard."

Swyrtek said about 250 mastodons, ranging from 10,000 to 20,000 years old, have been found in Michigan.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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