100-thousand-year-old mammoth fossil unearthed in La Grange

A roughly 100,000-year-old mammoth tooth was discovered in South La Grange in early April. Jeff Kelly and some friends were on a hunting expedition when he discovered the pre-historic find.

“I was thrilled excited it's like a childhood dream to find you know something like a mammoth tooth or a dinosaur,” Kelly said. “It was something that you dream about. I was walking on cloud nine for about a week."

Kelly is no stranger to unearthing artifacts when he found the fossil he knew exactly what it was.

Chris Sagebiel a Collections Manager with UT’s Jackson School of Geosciences said mammoths were once common to what is now Central Texas.

"This was a really good place to be an herbivore we have large grasslands all up and down the state,” Sagebiel said. “We’re excited whenever a citizen comes across a fossil like that and can bring it to our attention it adds to our scientific knowledge of the state and let us know more about the geology of the area and more about the history of the land we live on today.”

The Vertebrate Paleontology Laboratory collects pre-historic fossils from across Texas. Sagebiel said Kelly’s mammoth tooth was likely a molar from an adult mammoth by looking at the enamel plates of the fossil.

Kelly said he doesn’t plan to sell the fossil anytime soon instead he plans to pass it down to his children.