Mahaska Mammoth Work Continues

Work continues at the Mahaska Mammoth site where researchers are uncovering more bones of the per-historic creatures. (photo by Ginger Allsup)

Work continues at the Mahaska Mammoth site, where researchers are uncovering more bones of the pre-historic creatures. (photo by Ginger Allsup)

Oskaloosa, Iowa – The digging is well underway at the Mahaska Mammoth site once again. The first part of the year has been spent removing the dirt and debris that accumulated during the winter, and now scientists are once again getting down to business of unearthing new treasures.

On Wednesday, a rib bone was exposed and the process to carefully remove and document the bone was underway. Also exposed are small pieces of tusk.

With some careful probing, the team has discovered where other objects are located. “We’re not sure what they are yet,” said Laura DeCook, Mahaska County Naturalist. “That’s what we’re doing, slowly taking away thin layers of dirt to expose these bones and see what we discover.”

Since the animals bones are scattered over the area, scientists have been waiting for the opportunity to start putting bones back in their proper anatomical places. This past week, an opportunity presented itself to begin piecing a foot back together.

The Mahaska County Conservation Board now owns the bones found at the site. This happened through a grant process that utilized Friends of Mahaska County Conservation, which is a 501.3 C. The grant was given to Friends of Mahaska County Conservation from a community grant that stemmed from the W.L. McQuistin Community Trust. The fund was established for projects that benefit the local community.

In the coming days and weeks, other scientists will be arriving to determine if pre-historic human activity took place at the site.

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