SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (CBS4) –  A Utah family’s backyard has turned into a boneyard.

nat  ice age bones found 6vo frame 79 Family Finds Ancient Horse Skeleton While Landscaping

Backyard fossil discovery in Salt Lake City (credit: CBS)

While working on a landscaping project, the Hill family discovered the fossil of an ancient ice age animal.

“We started to dig with our fingertips and found ribs,” said Bridger Hill, the homeowner.

ice age bones found 6sotvo transfer frame 106 Family Finds Ancient Horse Skeleton While Landscaping

(credit: CBS)

Eventually the family would uncovered a nearly-complete skeleton believed to be that of an ancient horse. The bones were almost perfectly preserved, but the head was missing. They called in the experts for a closer look.

nat  ice age bones found 6vo frame 254 Family Finds Ancient Horse Skeleton While Landscaping

(credit: CBS)

“Well, of course it’s from the ice age. It must be about 16,000 years old,” said Rick Hunter, a paleontologist at the Museum of Ancient Life in Lehi, Utah.

Experts believe the bones belonged to a Shetland pony, but they aren’t sure how it got there. Based on the quality of the bones, they believe it was buried quickly.

ice age bones found 6sotvo transfer frame 357 Family Finds Ancient Horse Skeleton While Landscaping

(credit: CBS)

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