Almost every field service operator has more than a few weird stories to tell, but there probably aren’t too many who can say they’ve dug up a collection of ancient bones. Yet that’s the breaking news in Las Vegas, with a team of local pool builders recently making the millennia-old discovery as they prepared to install a new six-foot-deep pool in a residential backyard.
With the construction team digging deeper into the earth as they worked towards finishing the excavation, their work was suddenly halted when they noticed a strange curiosity poking out of the dirt. With the bones since estimated at between 6,000 and 14,000 years old, this dates the finding to approximately the most recent Ice Age.
While there were initially fears that the bones might be something of a more gruesome nature, once local police had given the scene the all-clear, it didn’t take long for nearby scientists to take a keen interest in the discovery. One such person is Joshua Bonde – director of research at the Nevada Science Center – who arrived on the scene to give his impression of the findings.
While you might be hoping to learn that the bones belong to a T-Rex or something equally exciting, Bonde believes they are likely the remains of a large mammal such as a horse. For someone in the know like Bonde, this backyard discovery isn’t actually that much of a surprise considering the extensive network of natural springs that run beneath the surface of Las Vegas.
Thousands of years ago, these lush landmarks would break through the desert floor to create a lush oasis that would attract animals from across the region. To Bonde, it looks like this ancient horse experienced an unfortunate accident.
“This animal appears to be surrounded by partially compacted vegetation so it probably died on the edge of a spring and probably fell into the spring to be preserved or some other mechanism buried it very quickly," Bonde told KNTV.
Take note, Las Vegas field service operators – Bonde says that those who start digging down into backyards across the city shouldn’t be too shocked when something similar turns up. With the remains of this historic skeleton found within touching distance of the Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument, there are undoubtedly plenty more fossils to unearth in the area.
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