Portland family finds prehistoric bones in yard

PORTLAND, MI – An Ionia County couple just wanted to dig a new pond in their yard. Instead, Rich and Annette Schneider of Portland dug up some history.

The Schneiders unearthed the bones of a 10,000-plus-year-old mastodon, an elephant-like animal that became extinct shortly after humans arrived in the Great Lakes region.

Rich Schneider tells WILX-TV the dig turned up a leg, a rib, a tusk and more.

They plan to donate the bones to the University of Michigan.

Scientists tell WLNS-TV the animal was buried by ancient hunters who stored it there to eat. The station said Wednesday it's one of only about 250 mastodons found in Michigan over the past century.