Science

Remarkable Fossil Discoveries at 'Snowmastodon' Dig in Denver
The ground-breaking discoveries continue in Denver, where a newfound burial ground has yielded almost 600 bones, as well as complete skeletons of ice-age mastodons, bison and mammoths.

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A worker stands over just one of the hundreds of fossils found at Snowmass Village, Colorado, demonstrating just how massive these ancient ice-age beings were.

Denver Museum of Nature & Science

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May 31, 2011: Experts discuss and route their plans for further excavation. At this point, 546 bones have been uncovered.

Denver Museum of Nature & Science

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May 31, 2011: Worker removes dirt in order to recover mastodon bone.

Denver Museum of Nature & Science

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May 24, 2011: The Denver Museum of Nature & Science continues to find a treasure trove of fossils at the site, despite challenging spring weather conditions. Additionally, local students are getting the latest updates from the site via live broadcasts and two-way interaction with Museum scientists during school programs.


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November 14, 2010: The Museum wrapped up excavation at Ziegler Reservoir fossil site for the winter. In just one month's time, the excavation crews had recovered almost 600 bones and bone pieces, 15 tusks and two tusk tips, 14 bags of tusk fragments, and more than 130 samples of peat, wood, leaves, rocks and invertebrates.

Denver Museum of Nature & Science

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November 16, 2010: Museum scientists, conservationists, trained volunteers begin the process of preserving the discoveries made at Ziegler Reservoir. First, specimens are removed from their field dressings and bags. They are documented, photographed, washed, and placed in new plastic bags to dry out very slowly-a process that could take a year or more for some specimens.

Denver Museum of Nature & Science

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November 9, 2010: Crews excavate a beautiful seven-foot mastodon tusk.

Denver Museum of Nature & Science

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November 13, 2010: Museum's "Mammoth and Mastodon Madness" event in Snowmass Village draws approximately 3,500 people from across the Roaring Fork Valley area.

Denver Museum of Nature & Science

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November 8, 2010: Excavation crews discover a second Columbian mammoth at the dig site. The animal was found in the top of a peat layer not far from the first mammoth uncovered at the site on October 14. After several hours of excavation, dig crews have identify the mammoth's jaw, teeth, and tusks at the front of its skull.

Denver Museum of Nature & Science

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Nov 4, 2010: Excavation crews discover two additional species: a ground sloth and a small deer-like animal. Museum scientists also determine there are two additional mastodons at the site after discovering a mastodon tooth and a new leg bone in separate places.

Denver Museum of Nature & Science

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October 31, 2010: More than 1,000 local residents view bones on display at the Snowmass Water and Sanitation District offices. Meanwhile, the excavation team from the Museum prepares to begin the dig. They create a site map identifying the areas where bones had been discovered, and take samples for radiocarbon dating.

Denver Museum of Nature & Science

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Bulldozer driver Jesse Steele discovers bones of a juvenile Columbian mammoth while working on the expansion of Ziegler Reservoir near Snowmass Village. Steele and project superintendent Kent Olson unearth approximately 25 percent of the animal's bones, which Olson indentifies as belonging to a mammoth after researching the find on the Internet.

Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Remarkable Fossil Discoveries at 'Snowmastodon' Dig in Denver

The ground-breaking discoveries continue in Denver, where a newfound burial ground has yielded almost 600 bones, as well as complete skeletons of ice-age mastodons, bison and mammoths.

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