A 9-year-old boy from New Mexico is being credited for discovering a million-year-old Fossil, which paleontologists claim is a very rare find. Jude Sparks made this discovery when he and his family were in the midst of a family trek in the desert surrounding their Las Cruces neighborhood. The boy said that he fell on top of the fossil when he was on the hike.

Million-year-old fossil and how it was discovered

The Sparkses were out in the desert when their younger son started chasing Jude, who in a bid to run away accidentally tripped and fell over something.

When he looked at what the object was, he was met with a strange formation embedded onto the surface. Jude immediately recognized it as something out of the ordinary, although he had no idea what it was.

His younger brother, Hunter claimed that it looked like the remains of a huge jaw of an animal and he felt it belonged to a cow. When the parents, Kyle and Michelle Sparks saw the remains, they too were stumped and clicked pictures of it. The family then went back home and searched the internet to see if they could find any information regarding what animal the remains belonged to. At last, the couple decided to send an email to the biology professor at the New Mexico State University, Peter Houde.

Houde glanced at the picture that the couple captured and instantly recognized the remains to be that of a long-extinct Stegomastodon. He visited the site and was shocked to see the fossil of the creature so well-preserved even though it had been exposed to the surface. He buried the fossil back and started arranging excavation procedures, which took him several months.

Finally, he was able to excavate the fossil remains and take them back to the university for further studies and research.

Stegomastodon: What is it?

Many people mistake the Stegomastodon as a dinosaur. However, that is not true as this creature is closer to the modern day elephant and bears no connection to the dinosaurs. In fact, the Stegomastodon went extinct within the last million years, which is much more recent than the Cretaceous dinosaurs which died off around 66 million ago.

Scientists feel that humans were responsible for hunting down the Stegomastodon.

The recent fossil discovered in New Mexico was thought to belong to a creature which lived nearly 1.2 million years ago. Houde claimed that the fossil had become exposed to the surface quite recently when Jude discovered it. If it had been present on the surface for longer periods, then it would have disintegrated.