Family Finds Ancient Horse Skeleton While Landscaping

James Marshall
May 4, 2018

While working on a landscaping project, the Hill family discovered the fossil of an ancient ice age animal. Buried for thousands of years beneath seven feet of sandy clay, the remains were discovered only when the Hill family began moving dirt around their backyard to build a retaining wall and plant some grass. While the head was missing, the bones that were found were nearly perfectly preserved. This made the family seek out for experts to evaluate the situation and, if possible by any means, find the missing head as well. The expert they called was Rick Hunter, who is a paleontologist at the Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point.

Though finding the skeleton of an ancient horse in your backyard is undoubtedly surprising, it appears that Utah residents have come across other ice age fossils in the past.

Looking at its hooves and the bones, Hunter realized it's an ancient horse. Luckily, she was able to consult her neighbor who was a paleontologist at Brigham Young University and found out pretty quickly that the fund was much more significant than she originally thought- with initial examination suggesting that it was an ancient horse from the Pleistocene Era.

This ancient horse was discovered in Levi, Utah - an unexpected find given that the majority of the state was underwater until about 14000 years ago.

The horse had arthritis when it died.

"We don't know how this horse got there".

Judging by the impeccable condition of the bones, Hunter ascertained that the animal was interred immediately after its death, before decomposition had a chance to set in. "It's fun to speculate and say maybe a predator was chasing him along the shoreline, horses can swim, maybe escaped that way and was unable to make it back in".

While this ancient horse is an unexpected find, Utah isn't exactly a odd place to discover fossils. So far, there were some skull fragments and they found 10 feet at a distance of 50 feet from the rest of the body, meaning that the skull was somehow destroyed. "It must be about 16,000 years old", said Rick Hunter, a paleontologist at the Museum of Ancient Life in Lehi, Utah.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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