Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Jude Sparks poses with the jawbone of a stegamastodon, an ancient ancestor of the elephant, that he discovered while hiking in the desert in Las Cruces, New Mexico, with his family.

Nine-year-old Jude Sparks was playing with his brother in the New Mexican desert when he tripped and landed beside a massive skull. 
"I didn't know what it was," Sparks, now aged 10, told El Paso ABC affiliate KVIA. "I just knew it wasn't usual." 
Sparks later found out he stumbled upon an archaeological treasure: a mostly intact stegomastodon skull.  
At the time of the discovery, neither Sparks nor his parents, who were biking nearby, recognized the skeletal remains of the million-year-old creature preserved in the desert sands of Las Cruces. 
Prehistoric fossils usually break down after exposure to the elements, but the Sparks were fortunate to have discovered the skull just after strong rains made it visible to the naked eye.
Good work, Jude!  Now, off to Jurassic Park.