Monday, October 18, 2010

A mammoth discovery at Snowmass

Exhaust billows from a construction vehicle at the water-storage site near Snowmass Village where the well-preserved bones of a woolly mammoth were found last week.Chad Abraham - The bones of a woolly mammoth estimated to be 10,000 years old were found outside Snowmass Village Thursday evening, a discovery one official heralded as “one of the most significant finds in Colorado.”

The operator of a bulldozer working on a reservoir project noticed what turned out to be rib bones sticking out of the ground. Staff from the Snowmass Water and Sanitation District have since removed and cleaned scores of well-preserved bones, including a femur, the end of a tusk and parts of the mandible. Officials from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science have also examined the bones and the site.

The district has been in contact with paleontologists who have said the find is “something very unique,” said Kit Hamby, manager of Snowmass Water and Sanitation.

“These are actual bones, which is what differentiates them from fossilized dinosaur bones,” he said. “Paleontologists we have spoken with told us it is one of the most significant finds” in the state.

Some of the bones, which Hamby described as “pretty amazing,” may be on display Wednesday when the district board meets. ...

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