A Springfield man's swimming trip in the Sangamon River has produced a rare Ice Age discovery.
The vertebra of an extinct Harlan's muskox went on display Friday at the Illinois State Museum. McDonald's restaurant manager Tony Blisset found the vertebra while wading in chest-deep water in the river with his son. The water in the river was low due to drought conditions in Illinois. At first Blisset said he thought the vertebra was from a cow or horse.
But then Blisset contacted the museum, which researched the vertebra and informed Blisset of his significant find. Blisset has donated the vertebra to the museum. It is only the thirteenth record of the species in Illinois. Paleontologists at the museum call it an "important discovery."