Bellevue Township men donating mastodon bones to U-M museum

BELLEVUE TOWNSHIP (AP) – Two Bellevue Township men are donating dozens of mastodon bones they unearthed to the University of Michigan Museum of Paleontology.

Neighbors Daniel LaPoint Jr. and Eric Witzke spent four days in November digging up 42 bones from the prehistoric mammal. The men plan to keep a few of the bones found in Witzke’s backyard and give the rest to the museum later this month.

The Lansing State Journal reports the museum’s director, Daniel Fisher, made trips to confirm and examine their discovery.

Fisher says the bones are from a 37-year-old male mastodon and are between 10,000 and 14,000 years old. He says the museum will be able to narrow the exact age to within 200 or 300 years once it has received the bones.

About 330 confirmed mastodon bone discoveries have been made in Michigan.