Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Community News Network

November 20, 2012

Big discovery as mammoth dig wraps for the year

OSKALOOSA — As work begins to wind up for the year at the mammoth dig site in rural Mahaska County, researchers made a big discovery Sunday morning.

Members of the William Penn University Science Club were assisting scientists and other volunteers at the site Sunday morning and they helped uncover a large mammoth tusk. A work crew from Musco Lighting did more excavation work at the site this past Wednesday, so the volunteers had their work cut out for them Sunday.

“That’s a big tusk of a big male,” said Dave Brenzel of the Indian Creek Nature Center.

The tusk was well preserved in the mud of the dig site. The front part had been exposed and the volunteers uncovered the rest.

“The is exactly what we’ve hoped for,” Brenzel said. The backside of the tusk is “in lovely, lovely condition.”

The tusk is massive, but it’s hard to tell just exactly how big it is because it is broken at one end.

“This was fractured probably after death,” Brenzel said.

Brenzel said the tusk goes with some neck bones that have been discovered at the site.

One neck bone was an older discovery at the site, but the other neck bone was uncovered about two weeks ago.

Brenzel held the neck bones of a mammoth dated back to 14,000 B.C.

“It’s a nice confirmation,” Brenzel said. The fossils corroborate what experts have said about the age of plant fossils at the site, he added.

Sarah Horgen of the Natural History Museum at the University of Iowa is heading up the research effort at the dig site. She is very pleased with the results of the research effort there.

“I think none of us expected we’d have this many bones and be this far along,” she said.

The discoveries are a testament to the hard work done by many volunteers and scientists.

Depending on the weather, this may be the last work day at the dig site, Horgen said.

“We don’t want to leave anything exposed,” she said. Horgen wants to get the large male mammoth tusk removed from the site Sunday because it would not survive the winter.

1
Text Only
Community News Network
  • American sunscreens need an upgrade

    The last time a new sunscreen ingredient came on the U.S. market, the Y2K bug was threatening to destroy our way of life. Intel had just introduced the Pentium III processor, featuring an amazing 500 MHz of computing power.

    April 24, 2014

  • 20140424-AMX-COFFEE24.jpg Coffee growers' prayers for rain met with threat of deluge

    Brazil's drought made arabica coffee this year's best-performing commodity. Now, farmers are facing a downpour that is once more threatening crops.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Celebrity quack moms are a terrible influence on everyday parents

    On April 15, the actress Alicia Silverstone released a book called "The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning." It's chock-full of attachment parenting lessons and dangerous misinformation.

    April 24, 2014

  • Affirmative action ruling challenges colleges seeking diversity

    The U.S. Supreme Court's support of Michigan's ban on race-based affirmative action in university admissions may spur colleges to find new ways to achieve diversity without using racial preferences.

    April 23, 2014

  • A 'wearable robot' helps her walk again

    Science is about facts, numbers, laws and formulas. To be really good at it, you need to spend a lot of time in school. But science is also about something more: dreaming big and helping people.

    April 23, 2014

  • Cuba is running out of condoms

    The newest item on Cuba's list of dwindling commodities is condoms, which are now reportedly in short supply. In response, the Cuban government has approved the sale of expired condoms.

    April 23, 2014

  • The waffle taco's biggest enemy isn't McDonald's. It's consumer habits.

    Gesturing to Taco Bell, Thompson said McDonald's had "not seen an impact relative to the most recent competitor that entered the [breakfast] space," and that new competition would only make McDonald's pursue breakfast more aggressively.

    April 23, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.42.47 PM.png VIDEO: Leopard attacks crowd in India

    A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • The top 12 government programs ever

    Which federal programs and policies succeed in being cost-effective and targeting those who need them most? These two tests are obvious: After all, why would we spend taxpayers' money on a program that isn't worth what it costs or helps those who do not need help?

    April 22, 2014

  • In cuffs... 'Warlock' in West Virginia accused of sexual assault

    Police in West Virginia say a man claiming to be a “warlock” used promises of magical spells to lure children into committing sexual acts with him.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

Features
AP Video
Facebook
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should more time and money be invested in Knoxville's City Parks?

Yes
No
     View Results