Farmer James Bristle and his neighbor Doug Leroy were digging a trench to install a drainage pipe in his soybean field on the outskirts of Chelsea, Michigan, when their backhoe suddenly struck something hard.
At first, the pair thought they had hit a buried piece of wood or perhaps a fence post, but they soon realized that wasn’t the case.
They had uncovered something neither had ever seen before.
“We didn’t know what it was, but we knew it was certainly a lot bigger than a simple fence post,” Bristle said.
Believing the strange object may have been a dinosaur bone, the farmer contacted the University of Michigan, located just 10 miles away from his farm.
Daniel Fisher, a professor and director of the University of Michigan Museum of Paleontology, arrived at Bristle’s farm with a team of 15 students to investigate the relic.
Because of a tight harvest schedule, Bristle gave the team of paleontologists just one day to complete their work before he needed to resume his drainage project.
“While our priority was of course to be thorough and not cause any damage, we knew we had to work fast,” said Fisher. “We were grateful that Mr. Bristle called us and was allowing us to interrupt his harvesting.”
At dawn’s early light, Professor Fisher’s team began to dig a 10-foot-deep excavation pit.
Working briskly, the paleontologists soon realized that Bristle’s soybean field contained something truly magnificent…