Brilliant beagle sniffs out a 250,000 woolly rhino bone

Super dog sniffs out a 250,000 woolly rhino bone

A super sniffing beagle has discovered a bone from a woolly rhino, that died over 250,000 years ago.

Four year old Crystal has worked with her palaeontologist owner Jamie Jordan, 29, to find fossils and remains of the oldest creatures on the planet.

Mr Jordan, of Peterborough, said: "We got Crystal originally as a companion, we chose a beagle because I've always wanted a hound."

Rather than just take Crystal for walks however, Mr Jordan was inspired by the legendary palaeontologist Mary Anning to train his dog to seek out ancient artefacts. Victorian fossil hunter Anning would take her dog to the Jurassic coast in Dorset in search of all sorts.

Mr Jordan started off getting Crystal to smell out bones from the Ice Age, which are said to have an organic, pungent and clay-like smell. When out on a dig Crystal's owner will let her sniff a piece of bone to pick up a scent and she'll hunt out as many fossils as she can.

Super dog sniffs out a 250,000 woolly rhino bone

Once trained, Crystal made the find of a lifetime when she dug up a huge leg bone of a woolly rhino — dubbed Stompy — that is believed to have died a quarter of a million years ago.

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Woolly rhinos
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Woolly rhinos
Woolly rhino
Collage representative of the Pleistocene (Ice Age) - woolly rhinoceros.
Collage representative of the Pleistocene - woolly rhinoceros in the background of the winter tundra.
Woolly rhinoceros (Coelodonta antiquitatis). Artists impression of a woolly rhinoceros. This extinct mammal existed during the Pleistocene and Holocene epochs, 1.8 million years to 10, 000 years ago. It was widespread throughout the tundra of northern Eurasia until the end of the last Ice Age. It was well adapted to harsh cold conditions with thick, shaggy fur, small ears, short legs and a massive body to conserve heat loss. Cave paintings made by early humans 30, 000 years ago show woolly rhinoceros as well as other large mammals. The woolly rhinoceros grew up to 2 metres tall at the shoulder and 3.5 metres long. It had two horns, the longer, front horn reached up to 1 metre long.
Woolly rhinoceros (Coelodonta antiquitatis). Artists impression of two woolly rhinoceroses. This extinct mammal existed during the Pleistocene and Holocene epochs, 1.8 million years to 10, 000 years ago. It was widespread throughout the tundra of northern Eurasia until the end of the last Ice Age. It was well adapted to harsh cold conditions with thick, shaggy fur, small ears, short legs and a massive body to conserve heat loss. Cave paintings made by early humans 30, 000 years ago show woolly rhinoceros as well as other large mammals. The woolly rhinoceros grew up to 2 metres tall at the shoulder and 3.5 metres long. It had two horns, the longer, front horn reached up to 1 metre long.
07.06.2018, Yakutsk, Russia. Side view of extinct woolly rhino on the air.
07.06.2018, Yakutsk, Russia. Side view of extinct woolly rhino on the air.
A woolly rhino stands atop some snow covered rocks in a wintry ice age scene. The dark fur covered, ice age beast is a massive creature with a great curved horn and a strong build. 3D Rendering
Rupert van der Werff of Summers Place Auctions puts the final touches to an extremely rare and virtually complete skeleton of a woolly rhinoceros at a preview at the Walled Garden in Billingshurst, West Sussex, for the forthcoming Summers Place Auctions, with lots including Ice Age Skeletons and a part of the Berlin Wall. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)
Rupert van der Werff of Summers Place Auctions puts the final touches to an extremely rare and virtually complete skeleton of a woolly rhinoceros at a preview at the Walled Garden in Billingshurst, West Sussex, for the forthcoming Summers Place Auctions, with lots including Ice Age Skeletons and a part of the Berlin Wall. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)
BILLINGSHURST, ENGLAND - MARCH 05: Rupert van Der Werff from Summers Place Auctions with a rare skeleton of a long-extinct woolly rhinoceros (one of only three in the world) up for sale next Tuesday (March 12) on March 5, 2019 in Billingshurst, England. The Skeletons of Ice Age will go under the hammer alongside two sections of the Berlin Wall. (Photo by Andrew Hasson/Getty Images)
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Every time the pooch comes back with a prehistoric prize, Mr Jordan gives her a treat, making the entire search entirely worthwhile for the talented tail-wagger.

Mr Jordan told the Metro: "If they're on the surface she'll sniff it out and howl to alert us, but if the bone is underground Crystal will just dig down."

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