|Three Times a Mammoth|
|Friday, 11 January 2013 13:40|
Evidence of a third mammoth has surfaced. It's been a month since researchers and volunteers last unearthed prehistoric remains east of Oskaloosa.
As winter conditions changed, the site was closed down to preserve bones until this spring. Nonetheless, this Wednesday an announcement by the University of Iowa's Museum of Natural History says there are THREE mammoths at the site.
David Brenzel, Naturalist at the Indian Creek Nature Center in Cedar Rapids, says since the excavation began last April, more than 100 bones including section of a skull down to remains of a leg and toes have been collected. However, it was the break the helped researchers determine they had evidence of a third mammoth.
"It's nice to have this down time because it has given us the opportunity to look at what we have. And it was measuring that gave us the really strong clue that we had a third mammoth. We always believed and the first news that we released was that that these big bones represented a Columbian because that is what is suppose to be here. I mean a Columbian Mammoth I'm talking about. A different species than the Wooly and they are big. But here we have Wolley and a second one and a really impressive one. We have looked at some of these big bones and we are guessing that big one weights about eight tons 16 thousand pounds. He was in his prime when he died and now we have this additional mystery of what could have killed him."
William Penn University Associate Professor of Biochemistry, Dr. James North, has assisted with the dig since last spring and shared his thoughts with CRI's Jason Madison on the newest discovery.
There hasn't been a confirmed date when researchers and volunteers will return to the site and pick up where they left off. But Brenzel said it really depends on when the ground thaws come this upcoming spring.