Fossils of mastodons -- forebears of the elephant -- previously have been found in the Mid-South, but this discovery is a significant one, the jawbone may have belonged to a close relative of the mastodon called a trilophodon, an animal which has never before been found in the Mid-South.
Trilophodon was about 5 m long and 2.5 m high, had four parallel tusks (two on the top jaw, two smaller ones on the bottom jaw) and lived from the Miocene epoch (26 million years ago) to the Pleistocene epoch (2 million years ago) in Europe, Eurasia, Africa, and North America.
Trilophodons basically looked like this.
The trilophodon had a long, pointed chin tipped with two short tusks, a short trunk and two larger tusks on the skull that curved down. The fossil found Wednesday belonged to an adult that was 7 to 8 feet tall and 12 to 15 feet long and weighed between one and two tons.
It was very lucky for this man to find one of these rare fossils in his backyard.