July 20 (UPI) — A 10-year-old boy contributed to a paleontological discovery after tripping over a million-year-old fossil in New Mexico.
Jude Sparks was just 9 years old when he stumbled upon the stegomastodon fossil while hiking in the dessert with his parents and brothers in November.
“I was running farther up and I tripped on part of the tusk,” Sparks said. “My face landed next to the bottom jaw. I looked farther up and there was another tusk.”
Sparks and his family took a photo of the mysterious fossil, as they attempted to determine what exactly they had found.
“When we went home, we were trying to research,” the boy’s mother Michelle Sparks told the New York Times. “It didn’t match perfectly with elephants, so then we said, ok, I guess it was something else.”
The family eventually contacted NMSU biology professor Peter Houde who said the family had made a rare discovery.
“For the …