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Justin Blauwet noticed something unusual while working at a construction site in Iowa. At first glance, it appeared to be a block of stone, just under a foot long, covered in ridges.

But Blauwet had a better idea of what it was, thanks to a lifelong interest in pre-historic animals: a wooly mammoth tooth likely dating back tens of thousands of years.

Blauwet was observing a construction site on March 4 on property owned by Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon when he spotted the tooth, according to a Wednesday news release from his employer, DGR Engineering.