The mongrel sniffs the prehistoric prize: the dog discovers a 250,000 year old woolly rhinoceros



Crystal sniffed the 250,000-year-old woolly rhinoceros bone. (SWNS)

Crystal sniffed the 250,000-year-old woolly rhinoceros bone. (SWNS)

A beagle in the United Kingdom has smelled a bone in the leg of a woolly rhinoceros that died 250,000 years ago.

Crystal, four years old, has been trained to detect fossils and remains of prehistoric creatures by paleontologist Jamie Jordan, according to SWNS.

"Beagles are well known for their sense of smell, and if they can be trained to discover drugs, weapons and bombs, why not try fossils?" he said.

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Jordan, who runs the Fossils Galore museum and educational center in Cambridgeshire in March, trained Crystal by making her smell the bones of the Ice Age. "They have a very organic smell, very spicy and similar to clay," he said.

The 4-year-old beagle has been trained to sniff out prehistoric remains. (SWNS)

The 4-year-old beagle has been trained to sniff out prehistoric remains. (SWNS)

Crystal's biggest find came in 2016, when he sniffed the leg bone of a woolly rhinoceros, which has been dubbed "Stompy." Recently published images show the dog and its prehistoric prize.

The dog receives a treat every time he makes a discovery.

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"If they are on the surface, they will smell it and howl to alert us, but if the bone is underground, the crystal will simply be unearthed," Jordan told SWNS.

Crystal and her owner paleontologist Jamie Jordan. (SWNS)

Crystal and her owner paleontologist Jamie Jordan. (SWNS)

Jordan was inspired by the pioneering Victorian paleontologist Mary Anning, who hunted fossils with her dog Tray on a stretch of the southern coast of the USA. UU Call "Jurbadic Coast".

The extraordinary life of Anning is shown in the next film "Ammonite", starring Kate Winslet as the fossil hunter.

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Woolly rhinos first appeared about 350,000 years ago and existed until about 10,000 years ago, according to the International Rhino Foundation. "Their fossils are quite common and have been discovered throughout Europe and Asia," he explains, on his website. "Well-preserved remains frozen in ice and buried in oil-saturated soil have been discovered."

The owner of Crystal was inspired by the pioneering Victorian paleontologist Mary Anning. (SWNS)

The owner of Crystal was inspired by the pioneering Victorian paleontologist Mary Anning. (SWNS)

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Other impressive prehistoric finds have been made in unlikely circumstances. In 2017, for example, a 10-year-old boy came across a million-year-old Stegomastodon skull while walking with his family in New Mexico.

Joseph J. Kolb contributed to this article.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers


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