Last summer 9 year-old Phillip Stoll was exploring the creek behind his house in Holt, MI when he stepped on something unusual. This object was so unusual he brought it back to his mom who, at first, thought it was a car part.

Phillip’s mom Heidi scoured the internet searching for answers as to what the object might be and after seeing a similar match online they determined that Phillip had stumbled across a Mastodon tooth!

The Stoll’s then sent an email to Jim Harding, a Michigan State University Herpetologist and Wildlife Outreach Specialist for the Department of Zoology and MSU Museum who confirmed the find as a tooth from one of the many Mastodons that roamed through Michigan over 10,000 years ago.

Apparently, finding Mastodon parts in Michigan is not that uncommon- Harding said people find Mastodon bones every three to four years in Michigan. In 2012 two boys made national news after finding a Mastodon axis bone in Shelby Township.

As a kid it seemed like my friends were always finding cool stuff like arrow heads in their backyard and I was super jealous. I tried to go hunting for arrowheads once, but came home empty handed. I’d sure like to stumble across something as cool as a Mastodon tooth!