July 8, 2009

Mastodon bones found in Texas

Workers preparing for an expansion of a San Antonio medical center have found pieces of mastodon bones that most likely predate humans, archaeologists say.

The bones were found at the site of a $556 million expansion of Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, the San Antonio Express-News reported Wednesday.

There was no evidence of human association with the bones, Fort Sam Spokesman Phil Reidinger said. The bones are believed to have predated human occupancy of the continent.

Steve Tomka, director of the UTSA Center for Archaeological Research, says the American mastodon roamed the continent from 3.75 million to 11,000 years ago.

Larger than modern-day elephants, the mastodon had long, curved tusks and stood several feet taller than modern man.

The mastodon bones found at Fort Sam Houston have been sent to a Colorado lab for analysis.