Denver Museum of Nature & Science Excavation Crews Make Slow but Steady Progress on Several Projects in Wintery Temperatures

Denver Museum of Nature & Science Field Report from Snowmass Village: Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Note to Reporters and Editors: Every afternoon, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science will issue an update about the fossil excavation taking place at Ziegler Reservoir near Snowmass Village, Colorado. In addition to this e-mail, watch for another e-mail with links to the still images shot today, and a third e-mail that will allow you to download video.   

Today: Wintery temperatures slowed the pace of work from frenetic to manageable today at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science's Ice Age fossil excavation in Snowmass Village, Colorado.  Excavation crews and visiting scientists made progress on several ongoing projects.

Paleoecologists and paleontologists from the U.S. Geological Survey continued their work on the stratigraphy of the sediments at the Ziegler Reservoir dig site. This meticulous, painstaking work will help Museum scientists gain a better understanding of the history of the ancient lake bed where the fossils of Columbian mammoths, Ice Age bison, Jefferson's ground sloth, American mastodons, a reptile, a small, mouse-like mammal, and an Ice Age deer have been found. 

Also today, excavation crews were able to filp the seven-foot long American mastodon tusk discovered two days ago so they could finish putting a protective plaster jacket on the fossil. 

Finally, excavation crews took a longer look at several bones from another Ice Age bison uncovered on Tuesday. The bones are from the hind legs of the animal, along with several ribs and vertebrae. The bison-the third one discovered-looks to be the most complete one found at the site thus far. 

Media Availability: Dr. Ian Miller, Dr. Steve Holen and Dr. Kirk Johnson, the Museum's chief curator and Vice President of Research and Collections will be available for phone interviews late today by appointment. 

For additional information about the excavation, interview clips, video clips and still images from the site, please check the Denver Museum of Nature & Science's home page and press page. 

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About the Denver Museum of Nature & Science
The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is the Rocky Mountain Region's leading resource for informal science education. A variety of engaging exhibits, discussions and activities help Museum visitors celebrate and understand the natural wonders of Colorado, Earth and the universe. The Museum is located at 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO, 80205.  To learn more about the Museum, check www.dmns.org, or call 303-370-6000.

Many of the Museum's educational programs and exhibits are made possible in part by generous funding from the citizens of the seven-county metro area through the Scientific & Cultural Facilities District.






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