Multiple Species Identified at Dig Site
Written by Andrew-Rossi on August 29, 2018
The Marquette Mammoth was not alone.
In April of this year, the receding waters of the Buffalo Bill Reservoir west of Cody revealed a well-preserved skeleton of a mammoth, which archeologists dubbed the “Marquette Mammoth,” named for the town that was flooded when the reservoir was created in the early 1900s.
Wyoming State Archaeologist Greg Pierce says researchers rushed to the shore of the Reservoir on the South Fork side after the discovery of the mammoth bones. They wanted to uncover all they could before the reservoir rose with spring runoff and covered the site.
Along with the ribs and vertebrae of the prehistoric beast, many other fossils were found in the immediate area, according to Bonnie Smith with the Draper Museum of Natural History, who was interviewed by KODI News right after the skeleton was unearthed.
After further study, scientists confirm that some of the bones did belong to a horse, but they also found bones from a bison, a camel, and a creature similar to a deer, called an artiodactyl.
The Powell Tribune reports the fossils date roughly to the Pleistocene, the era of ice ages between 2.5 million and 12,000 years ago. Scientists hope testing can better determine the fossils’ age. They say this is important in deciding whether the mammoth died of natural causes, which would include predation by another animal, or if the mammoth was eaten by humans sometime within the past 14,000 years.