Prehistoric Creatures That Once Roamed Michigan
Millions of years ago, Michigan was once completely covered with ocean water, as was most all of North America. This ocean is responsible for depositing a plethora of fossils throughout our state; and once the water subsided, other beasts roamed this land. The discoveries of these creatures continue and no doubt more new ones will be discovered. But for the time being, here are a handful of the ones that have already been unearthed.....
Golly, gee, Beave! Imagine a beaver that's seven feet long and weighs 275 pounds. That's what has been unearthed near Ludington and along the Dowagiac River. This beaver had teeth six inches long and probably resembled a capybara. Scientists conclude that these giant beavers died out after the Ice Age.
There have always been rumors of sharks in our Great Lakes, but millions of years ago, there actually were. These sharks were called Adyodonti, Cladodonts, and Ctenocanths, and looked like a frilled shark, a fish that is shaped like a serpent. Other prehistoric sharks whose remains were discovered in Michigan include Xenacanths and Acanthodians.
This horrible monster was around during the Devonian period (about 416 million years ago) and ate everything. It was the size of a great white shark, had a beak like a parrot, and covered in an armor-like shell/skin. The strong beak was essential in killing other armor-plated beasts in order to feed. So far, this prehistoric fish is the scariest-known creature that roamed through Michigan.
These existed in Michigan during the Ice Age. Bones and fossils from Mastodons are numerous and have been found in many locations, whether it's in a construction site, backyard, or almost anywhere where digging occurs. These prehistoric elephants were over 10 feet tall and weighed 12 tons.
Another prehistoric elephant, the Mammoth, has been discovered as recently as 2015 when a skull and tusks were dug up on a farm in Chelsea (SEE PICTURES AND VIDEO BELOW). The Mammoth is descended from the Mastodon and has been extinct for 11,000 years.
FLAT HEADED PECCARY
Ionia County can claim this one. This creature had a snout and hooves just like modern pigs, so its flat head is the only thing of interest. Fossils of the Flat Headed Peccary were dug up in Ionia County in the late 1800's and the creatures are believed to have died out at the conclusion of the Ice Age.
Related to the current muskox, these beasts weighed around 900 pounds, about 100-400 pounds more that the modern-day muskox. Their tail was longer, skull was thicker, and are believed to have died out during the Pleistocene extinction. Many fossils of this creature have been found are more are probably waiting.
This thing was a little larger than our current Bullwinkles, but had more of a deer-like face. Antlers and mummified remains of Stag-moose have been discovered at various Michigan sites.
Yup, your precious Petoskey stones contain the remains of a prehistoric creature. It's fossilized Rugose Coral from approximately 416 million to 358 million years ago during the Devonian Age, when an ocean completely covered Michigan. These coral creatures fed themselves by extending their tentacles and capturing much smaller prey. They have been extinct for over 250 million years.
Now that you know that there are buried prehistoric creatures a-plenty in Michigan, are ya gonna go diggin'?