Scientists have unearthed a graveyard containing the fossilized remains of mammoths, mastodons, a ground sloth and other creatures from the last ice age, which ended about 10,000 years ago. They discovered the ice age graveyard near the ski resort town of Snowmass, Colorado according to scientists with the University of London, who were involved in the excavation.
It’s a “once-in-a-lifetime discovery,” these British scientists said.
The Denver Museum of Nature and Science, which filmed the video below, is leading the amazing dig.
Contractors digging a water reservoir for a nearby town alerted the Denver Museum of Nature and Science to the treasure trove of fossils. What they’ve found so far includes five American mastodons, three Ice Age bison, a mule deer, two Columbian mammoths, a tiger salamander and a Jefferson’s ground sloth. Some bones are estimated to be up to 100,000 years old.
Professor Scott Elias of the University of London said he hopes to reconstruct the ancient wild environment of these creatures through analysis of peat, seeds, pollen, mummified leaves, fossilized snails and other debris found buried with them. He said:
This site is so unique because it is at a high altitude and it has amassed such a wide array of animals, plants and insects from a vast time span which gives an indication of an entire ecosystem all in one place. It is quite a remarkable discovery.
More than 60 scientists are currently studying the Ice Age graveyard in hopes of learning more about these magnificent and vanished creatures.
In his years with EarthSky, Jorge Salazar conducted thousands of in-depth interviews with scientists. He knows a lot about as diverse as nanotechnology, ecosystem-based management, climate change, global health, international environmental treaties, astrophysics and cosmology, and environmental security. Jorge currently works as a Technical Writer/Editor for the Texas Advanced Computing Center, which designs and deploys powerful advanced computing technologies and innovative software solutions for scientific researchers.