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Columbian Mammoth Bones Discovered Near Snowmass Village

Jessica.Olson's picture

Mammoth mandible: The mandible (lower jaw) with one tooth attached found in Snowmass Village. Next to it you can see another tooth coming in. Mammoths have six sets of teeth, so they lose them often.Mammoth mandible: The mandible (lower jaw) with one tooth attached found in Snowmass Village. Next to it you can see another tooth coming in. Mammoths have six sets of teeth, so they lose them often.Snowmass Village – The Snowmass Village Water and Sanitation (and Paleontology?) District has usurped the community spotlight, even as elections loom. It may not have been in the original job description, but recently the Water and Sanitation District employees have taken on the roles of paleontologists and museum curators. While working to enlarge Ziegler Reservoir above Snowmass Village on October 14th, a machine operator noticed something odd emerging from the ground. Upon further examination, he realized that they were very large bones.

Since this sighting, about 30% of the bones belonging to an adolescent Columbian mammoth have been unearthed. Based on the layers of earth, they are estimated to be between 12,000 and 14,000 years old. The bones were nestled within a layer of peat bog, which lacks oxygen and therefore prevented the bones from becoming fossilized. This, along with the high altitude at which the mammoth was discovered, makes it a very rare find.