More mastodon bones discovered in Byron Township

Mastodon bones were discovered at a Byron Township farm on Sept. 13, 2017.


BYRON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — More pieces of prehistoric West Michigan were discovered near Kent Trails in Byron Center Wednesday.

A crew working on a new subdivision just north of 84th Street near the trail unearthed more than two dozen mastodon bones.

The first set of bones, including at least two large bones and what appeared to be a jawbone, was uncovered at the same site on Sept. 6.

“They found a female mastodon that’s about 10 to 12,000 years old,” said Scott Beld, who is a research assistant with the University of Michigan.

He said he could identify the mastodon as a female because the bones are smaller than its male counterpart.

“At first we thought they were just cow bones until we saw them,” said Mike Siereveld, a partner with Eagle Creek Homes. “They’re a lot bigger than cow bones.”

The developer owns the discovered bones, but he said he will be donating them to U of M to study. When the university completes its study, the bones will go to the Byron Center Historical Society.

“We’re just happy to be able to bring the bones back to Byron Center, eventually, and let the people in Byron Center enjoy them,” Siereveld said.

Beld says they find about one mastodon a year.

“We get calls probably once a year or so, and not everyone who finds one calls us. So there are probably a lot more found that we don’t know about,” he said.