Experts from the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture claim that a recently discovered mammoth tusk might be the largest found in the entire Seattle area. The tusk, which is also believed to have come from an Ice Age mammoth, was unearthed by several construction workers conducting an excavation in the Lake Union area of Seattle.
According to a report given by Seattle’s television network KIRO-TV, the construction workers immediately stopped digging as soon as they spotted the tusk and informed the Burke Museum of their find. After recovering the fossil and studying it, vertebrate paleontology curator Christian Sidor says that they are almost certain that it belonged to a mammoth from the Ice Age.
The fossil was buried underneath privately owned land, so the owner has full discretion over the tusk. It has since been turned over by the landowner to the Burke Museum, so the staff can now make it accessible to other experts and scientists who are interested in examining it. There is currently no state law in Washington that restricts people from doing what they want with their land, so museums are required to seek the owners’ consent before excavating artifacts from their land.
Acclaimed paleontologist Jack Horner of the Museum of the Rockies says that Mammoths inhabited numerous areas around the United States thousands of years ago. Finding any intact remnants of these colossal animals is rare, though, according to Horner as they are often shattered by construction machines and equipment.
Mastodons and other prehistoric elephant relatives were said to live in Washington around 10,000 years ago. Geologist David Williams said that both Mammoths and Mastodons roamed the state right after the ice thawed. He also said that dental fossils would serve as better proof of these creatures’ existence as they are more accurate samples for DNA identification than ancient skeletal remains.
Image via YouTube