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ARCHAEOLOGY

Dig this: Ancient bones found in Wyoming cave

  • Ancient Animal Dig-1.jpg

    This July 2014 image provided by the Bureau of Land Management shows researchers in the interior of the Natural Trap Cave in north-central Wyoming. The cave holds the remains of tens of thousands of animals, including many now-extinct species, from the late Pleistocene period tens of thousands of years ago. Scientists have resumed digging for the first time in more than 30 years. (AP Photo/Bureau of Land Management) (The Associated Press)

  • 95950452da7b211e5c0f6a70670047cc.jpg

    This July 2014 image provided by the Bureau of Land Management shows Justin Sipla ascending up a rope 80 feet after working at the bottom of the Natural Trap Cave in north-central Wyoming. The cave holds the remains of tens of thousands of animals, including many now-extinct species, from the late Pleistocene period tens of thousands of years ago. Scientists have resumed digging for the first time in more than 30 years. (AP Photo/Bureau of Land Management) (The Associated Press)

  • Ancient Animal Dig-3.jpg

    This July 2014 image provided by the Bureau of Land Management shows BLM Paleontologist Brent Breithaupt at the mouth to the interior of the Natural Trap Cave in north-central Wyoming. The cave holds the remains of tens of thousands of animals, including many now-extinct species, from the late Pleistocene period tens of thousands of years ago. Scientists have resumed digging for the first time in more than 30 years. (AP Photo/Bureau of Land Management) (The Associated Press)

  • Ancient Animal Dig-4.jpg

    This July 2014 image provided by the Bureau of Land Management shows Justin Sipla, from left, Julie Meachen, and Jenna Kaempfer collecting samples for analysis inside the Natural Trap Cave in north-central Wyoming. The cave holds the remains of tens of thousands of animals, including many now-extinct species, from the late Pleistocene period tens of thousands of years ago. Scientists have resumed digging for the first time in more than 30 years. (AP Photo/Bureau of Land Management) (The Associated Press)

  • Ancient Animal Dig-5.jpg

    This July 2014 image provided by the Bureau of Land Management shows scientists in the interior of the Natural Trap Cave in north-central Wyoming. The cave holds the remains of tens of thousands of animals, including many now-extinct species, from the late Pleistocene period tens of thousands of years ago. Scientists have resumed digging for the first time in more than 30 years. (AP Photo/Bureau of Land Management) (The Associated Press)

Paleontologists are wrapping up their first excavation in 30 years inside a bizarre cave in northern Wyoming thought to hold the remains of tens of thousands of ancient animals.

They're not entirely sure yet what they've found in two weeks of digging at Natural Trap Cave, but they're planning further study back in their labs.

Bones they've found could include those of North American lions, short-faced bears and other now-extinct species from 25,000 years ago.

The cave's only entrance is a 15-foot-wide hole in the ground that's almost impossible to see until you're next to it. Scientists say over the millennia, thousands of unwary animals plummeted 80 feet to their deaths within the chilly cavern.

A metal grate installed over the hole now prevents people and animals from falling inside.