Kids find mastodon tooth in rural Sumner creek - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Kids find mastodon tooth in rural Sumner creek

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Professors at Upper Iowa University believe the tooth belonged to a mastodon more than 20,000 years ago. Professors at Upper Iowa University believe the tooth belonged to a mastodon more than 20,000 years ago.
The friends thought it was a dinosaur tooth, and it turns out they were close. The friends thought it was a dinosaur tooth, and it turns out they were close.
SUMNER (KWWL) -

Eleven-year-old Chase Redfern, 10-year-old Brynlee Volker, and 12-year-olds Michael Koch and Brylie Volker spend a lot of summer days together.

"We're really close," said Brynlee.

The four were exploring a creek in rural Sumner when they decided to build a dam out of twigs.

"We were going to build a dam to hold back all the water and we wanted to clear out the rocks so it wouldn't be all rocky so we wouldn't get cuts on our feet," said Brylie.

But all plans came to a halt when they stumbled upon something large hooked to a twig.

"I saw something flip over so I picked it up and realized it probably wasn't a rock," said Chase.

"I'm like, 'Whoa, what is that?!'" said Brynlee.

The friends thought it was a dinosaur tooth, and it turns out they were close.

"We ran up by the barn where all the adults were sitting, and we said we found a tooth. They thought it was just like a little mini rock like it wasn't going to be anything, and we came back with this enormous thing. It was pretty cool," said Brylie.

Professors at Upper Iowa University believe the tooth belonged to a mastodon more than 20,000 years ago.

Katherine McCarville, Upper Iowa University associate professor of geosciences, said thousands of mastodon teeth have been found in North America. She said most of them, however, have been discovered in Siberia.

McCarville said because the tooth is in such good condition and was transported by water, there could be additional remains of the animal near where the tooth was found.

The group of friends said they're keeping an eye out for other treasures in the creek.

"It's cool that we found it just like here where we live around here, and it's cool because I got to find it with all my friends," said Brylie.

McCarville said she's not sure about the monetary value of the tooth, but believes the educational value is most important.

The kids haven't decided what they'll do with the tooth. They said they want to bring it to their school in the fall, but haven't made any long-term plans for where they will keep it.

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