Ooops! This is going to put a sad in the earth-is-6,000 years-old crowd's day. Not only did these four Iowa school kids stumble on a five pound, 20,000 year old mastodon tooth, but scientists called to the site believe there might be more where this came from, given the excellent condition of the tooth.
The kids were looking for a place to build a dam and instead made a huge scientific discovery.
SUMNER, Iowa (KWWL) -- Four children in Sumner, Iowa were exploring a creek when they decided to build a dam out of twigs.This is not going to sit well with the creationist crowd:
"We were going to build a dam to hold back all the water and we wanted to clear out the rocks so it wouldn't be all rocky so we wouldn't get cuts on our feet," said 12-year-old Brylie Volker.
All plans came to a halt when they stumbled upon something large hooked into a twig.
The friends thought it was a dinosaur tooth, and it turns out they were close.
Professors at Upper Iowa University believe that the tooth belonged to a mastodon more than 20,000 years ago.
Mastodons are an extinct group of mammal species related to elephants, that inhabited North and Central America during the late Miocene or late Pliocene up to their extinction at the end of the Pleistocene 12,000 years ago.
The American mastodon is the most recent and best-known species of the genus. They disappeared from North America as part of a mass extinction of most of the Pleistocene megafauna, widely presumed to have been a result of rapid climate change in North America, as well as the sophistication of stone tool weaponry used by the Clovis hunters which may have caused a gradual attrition of the mastodon population.