Tom Gordon of Carson City didn’t expect his backyard to become an excavation site when he starting planting trees this summer, but that’s what happened after he found what looked like an animal graveyard.
Now, with an excavated and still-unfinished backyard, Gordon owns a suite of fossils from multiple Ice Age herbivores, currently on display at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum.
Gordon said it all started when he dug up what looked like the bottom half of a horse’s jaw in early May.
He and his wife had found bones in their yard before but assumed that the land used to be part of a ranch. When they found the jaw and shared pictures with their daughter, she thought it might be a dinosaur.
The family got in touch with paleontologist Steve Rowland, emeritus geology professor at UNLV and lab manager at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum.