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Indiana sewer project unearths trove of mastodon bones

Associated Press
The tusk of a mastodon found on property owned by Joe Schepman and his family is shown on April 15, 2019 in Seymour, Ind.

Seymour, Ind. – Workers installing sewer lines across a southern Indiana farm unearthed the fossilized bones of a mastodon that likely stood about 9 feet tall.

The bones include most of a tusk, parts of a skull and a jawbone with teeth. They were recently dug up on a farm in Seymour, about 60 miles south of Indianapolis.

Joe Schepman, left, and his son, Brad, hold the tusk of a mastodon found on the family's property. on April 15, 2019 in Seymour, Ind.

Joe Schepman owns the farm with his family. He tells The Seymour Tribune that “it’s amazing to think about something this large roaming around this area.”

Ron Richards is senior research curator of paleobiology at the Indiana State Museum. He says the mastodon would have stood between 9 and 9½ feet tall.

Richards says the fossil’s age will be determined using radiocarbon dating.

The remains include the majority of a tusk, part of a jawbone with teeth, two upper leg bones, a vertebrae, a joint and part of the skull. The tusk was split into two pieces and together made up about a third of the tusk.