Woman Discovers Ice-Age Era Elk Skull On Her Missouri Farm

by Sean Griffin
(Photo by Raymond Gehman/Corbis via Getty Images)

A northeast Missouri woman found a rare and prehistoric elk skull on her farm outside Green Castle.

Linda Jepson and her family were out walking in a field when the unusual object on the creek bank got their attention.

“I picked it up… just because I was curious, like, ‘What is this?’” Jepson said. “Everybody was telling me, ‘Oh, just throw that down. That’s yucky. Eww!’ I was like, ‘No, I think this might be something. I need to look at this.'”

Jepson took the skull-looking item home. She rinsed it off to make better sense of it.

“I was kind of in shock. ‘What is this?'” Jepson said. “I was like this kind of looks like a cervid species, like a skull of a deer species, you know, or something.”

She then compared the object to other deer skulls she had found on her farm. Jepson realized that her recent discovery was bigger than those skulls.

A paleontologist confirmed that what she had discovered is a partial skull of an extinct bull elk from the Ice Age. Photos of the skull can be viewed here.

Matt Forir, a paleontologist from the Missouri Institute of Natural Science in Springfield, told Jepson the skull is old. He said it could be from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of years old.

Jepson also made the crazy discovery on her 50th birthday.

“You could say [it’s] the universe’s birthday present for me on my 50th birthday,” Jepson said.

Jepson recently loaned her prehistoric elk skull to the Missouri Institute of Natural Science Museum where it is now on display.

She will retain ownership of her rare discovery.

Tourists Stop Van Next To Bull Elk, Immediately Get Charged by the Huge Animal

In this crazy footage posted to YouTube a year ago, a bull elk shows how unhappy he is with a white van, and the passengers immediately regret stopping in front of the huge animal.

The twenty-second clip features the van pulling up to the elk. Then, the elk rushes over and thrusts its head forward to butt the van back, coming within a few feet from making contact.

As the van drives forward to escape, the elk backs up and then charges forward, ramming the side of the van. The collision makes a dent and a huge boom. Then, the bull elk lets out a long and piercing call. The clip ends shortly after.

You can watch the entire encounter here. Since being posted online last September, the clip has garnered over a million views.

“I’d keep those dents in my vehicle if that happened to me. Good conversation piece,” one person wrote in the comment section.

During the elk rut, it’s a good idea to avoid all males, who become more aggressive around this time of year.

Elk rutting season occurs when the males attempt to dominate and earn the right to mate, often resulting in clashing among males. Bulls become particularly aggressive and release powerful pheromones. They also display their muscular antlers, necks, and bodies prominently.