A dog owner in Langley, Washington, claims that his puppy has unearthed a 13,000-year-old woolly mammoth tooth in the family backyard.
Piece Of Prehistoric History
Kirk Lacewell said that a few months ago, he noticed his puppy named Scout paying close attention to something in the backyard. He said that he noticed the dog being with what appears like a rock.
"I noticed he was carrying something around in his mouth," Lacewell said. "On the second day it made me think this is odd. I wonder what's going on with this. I wonder what's special about that rock?"
It turned out that the object isn't just a rock. It was actually a piece of prehistoric history. After contacting experts at the University of Washington, Lacewell discovered that the object was part of a tooth of a woolly mammoth.
Woolly mammoths are extinct relatives of modern-day elephants that lived during the last ice age.
Paleontologists who examined the pictures that Lacewell sent said that the tooth could be as old as 13,000 years.
Big Find For A Dog
While it is not rare to find such a thing in the western part of Washington, it is definitely a big find for Lacewell's dog. He said that he plans to keep the tooth as a family heirloom and that Scout may be able to find more hidden gems.
The Extinct Woolly Mammoths
Several theories attempt to explain why the woolly mammoths were wiped out of the planet. The ancient animals are believed to have died off when the weather became warmer and their food supply changed.
Early humans may have also contributed to their extinction as ancient people infiltrated their habitats and hunted them for their meat, bones, and skins.
Some scientists have considered bringing back the woolly mammoth using the CRISPR gene editing. The idea is that resurrecting the extinct animal may help mitigate climate change.
Researchers said that reintroducing woolly mammoths or animals similar to them to the tundra may help revive ancient grasslands, which can slow down the thawing of permafrost and prevent the release of planet-warming greenhouse gases.