An avid rock collector says he may have found something rare on a beach on Whidbey Island -- a Mammoth bone.
Vince Vesser said he was simply walking along Maxwelton Beach when something big caught his attention.
“It was just sitting right there in the open, laying on the beach,” he said. “That’s an ancient animal bone, that’s nothing alive because it’s too big.”
Vesser said what he found was a Mammoth bone. Seattle's Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture agrees.
Vesser said because he is a rock collector, he knew right away that what he found couldn’t simply be any old rock.
“When you look inside you can see all the webbing of a bone, and I used to be a pretty big meat eater, so I recognize a bone when I see one,” he said. “It was just so big, I knew that it wasn’t anything living, so I felt pretty excited about it.”
Mammoth fossils are not unheard of in Washington state. There have been several reports of found tusks, and other Mammoth fossils around the state over the years.
Still, finding one is always special. Vesser’s excitement led him to reach out to The Burke Museum to show them what he found. He sent them photos of the bone and got a reply that said what they were seeing was consistent with a Mammoth bone.
“They said it’s the proximal end of a Mammoth femur, the part that attaches to the hip,” Vesser said.
The Burke Museum had not seen the bone up close as of Monday morning to confirm the finding. Vesser said he would like to donate the bone to the museum, but is in the process of working that out with them.
“If it was a T-Rex bone, I’d probably keep it on the wall or something,” Vesser joked.