At the beginning of this year, Mr. Ren, a citizen of Changchun City in northeast China's Jilin Province, found an extraordinary stone while working in a sandpit near Dong'antun. His workmates thought that it was just an ordinary stone and suggested throwing it away. However, Ren was convinced that it was a fossilized bone.
The stone is about the size of a man's palm and it was cracked in two places. "At first, when I saw the lower part of the stone, I thought that there should be an upper part judging from the fracture surface. So I searched around and surprisingly found the upper part. I thought it was a fossilized bone according to the texture of the fracture," Ren said.
Ren has a great interest in stone since childhood. He always takes interesting stones home.
On December 19, a journalist from the East Asia Economy and Trade News and Mr. Ren together with the stone went to visit Xing Ruizhong, Chairman of the Changchun Strange Stone Appreciation and Research Association, and also an expert from the Northern China Stone Culture. After careful observation, Xing told the journalist that judging from the glazed part of the upper section, the stone was a fossilized skull of a mammoth. It still has important value in scientific research though it has been badly eroded by the wind, affecting its market value.
According to Xing, one of several species of huge, hairy, elephantine creatures, the now extinct mammoth, roamed the earth until as recently as 10,000 years ago. Though bone fossils of mammoths have been discovered in northeast China before, this is the first time that a skull fossil has been found.
(China.org.cn by Li Xiaohua, December 20, 2007)