Construction Workers Unearth 10,000-Year-Old Mammoth Tusk
Ranjini Raghunath for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
A rare, 10,000-year-old mammoth tusk has been discovered by a group of construction workers at a private construction site in the south Lake Union region of Seattle. The workers stopped working when their digging unearthed the intact fossil dating back to the Ice Age.
Paleontologists believe that it must have belonged to the Columbian mammoth, Mammuthus columbi.
The tusk was found on private property, but the Burke Museum of Natural History in Seattle was very interested in acquiring the tusk for its display, its curator said in a statement.
“They are very rare,” Christian Sidor, curator of vertebrate paleontology, told the Washington Post.
“The discovery of a mammoth tusk in South Lake Union is a rare opportunity to directly study Seattle’s ancient natural history. As a public repository, the Burke Museum would be pleased to curate the tusk and provide access to scientists and others wishing to study it,” he added in a statement.
Similar mammoth tusks or parts of tusks have also recently been discovered at different sites in Washington and Oregon.
Mammoths roamed the earth millions of years ago. With their long, curved tusks and long hair covering their body, they are believed to be the ancestors of modern-day elephants. Historians believe that they migrated from Asia to North America 2 million years ago, dying out about 10,000 years ago when the Ice Age glaciers began melting.