A 9-year-old boy accidentally made an archeological discovery in #Las Cruces, New Mexico, last November during a trip with his family. The boy, named Jude Sparks, found the skull of #stegomastodon, an ancestor of the elephant that, according to scientists, lived on Earth millions of years ago.

Jude Sparks had tripped over the fossil

The remarkable paleontological discovery was made when Jude was on a trip in the desert outskirts of his neighborhood in Las Cruces. Jude tripped and fell over the #Fossil while trying to hide from his younger brothers. Jude was 9 years of age at that time. When Sparks brothers saw the weird object for the first time, it looked like a big jaw, and they thought it belonged to a cow skull.

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The brothers told their parents, Michelle and Kyle Sparks, about the object, who soon realized that the object was probably a valuable fossil. They took a picture of the fossil to investigate further. After returning to their home, Kyle Sparks sent the picture to Dr. Peter Houde, a biology professor at New Mexico State University. After seeing the picture, Dr. Houde quickly recognized that it was fossil remains of a stegomastodon that went extinct millions of years ago.

The next day, Dr. Houde arrived at the site with Sparks family to personally see the fossils. After it was confirmed that they were remains of a stegomastodon, Dr. Houde informed a team of paleontologists who finally excavated the skull in May this year.

Stegomastodon was an elephantine creature that looked similar to Mastodon

According to Dr.

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Peter Houde, the fossil is the second complete skull of stegomastodon found in the state. Dr. Houde estimates that this creature would have lived at least 1.2 million years ago. Stegomastodon was a huge elephantine creature that looked similar to mastodon in appearance. This prehistoric creature had tusks like an elephant, and it most likely got extinct after being hunted by humans.

According to Jude Sparks, he used to get excited to see dinosaurs and their fossils in movies during the age between 5 and 8. Now after this incident, his interest in these animals has grown again. Jude says he has also learned about the years’ long natural processes by which fossils remain preserved in the earth even after millions of year ago.

Dr. Houde wants the stegomastodon fossil to be displayed at the New Mexico State University so that people of this remote region get a chance to see the stuff without needing a big trip to archeological museums. He is also grateful to the family of Jude Sparks who informed him about the fossil remains.