Expecting a fun day at the beach in honor of their friend’s marriage, members of a bachelor party stumbled upon something unexpected: the remains of a prehistoric skull.
Bachelor party attendant Antonio Gradillas was hiking around Elephant Butte Lake State Park in New Mexico when he and his friends came across the skull on Monday.
“As we were walking we saw a bone sticking out about one or two inches from the ground,” Gradillas stated to ABC News. As the group uncovered more of the skull, Gradillas realized that this might be an important discovery and he eventually reached paleontologist Gary Morgan, who works with the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, for help.
Morgan believes the skull belonged to a prehistoric stegomastodon that was close to 9 feet tall and had been buried for about 3 million years. Stegomastodons were similar in appearance to modern elephants. Though no other body parts have been found except the skull, the discovery is still immensely exciting.
“This is the most complete of any of them I’ve found including the younger mastodons and mammoths from the ice age, this is older than that,” Morgan stated to KRQE.
The fine excavation of the skull should hopefully be completed by the end of 2014 as reported by KRQE.