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10 Year-Old Helps to Discover Million-Year-Old Fossil

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You never know when you may stumble on a great discovery. Jude Sparks was just 9 years old when he stumbled upon a piece of history while hiking in the New Mexico dessert with his parents and brothers in November.

"I was running farther up and I tripped on part of the tusk," Sparks said. "My face landed next to the bottom jaw. I looked farther up and there was another tusk."

While he was running to hide from his younger brothers, he tripped and fell.

"It was just an odd shape," Jude, now 10 told the New York Times. "I just knew it was not something that you usually find."

Jude and his family took a photo of the strange discovery and attempted to figure out what they found.

"When we went home, we were trying to research," the boy's mother Michelle Sparks told the New York Times. "It didn't match perfectly with elephants, so then we said, ok, I guess it was something else."

Eventually the family got in touch with Peter Houde a NMSU biology professor.

"For the several types of elephants that we have in the area, this is probably one of the more common of them," Houde said. "But they're still very rare. This may be only the second complete skull found in New Mexico."

The family joined Houde and his team of students and professors as they worked to uncover the skull after getting permission to excavate the area.

See the amazing discoveries they made on the next page.

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