More than 15,000 Votes Cast in Contest to Decide Name
for First Mammoth Found at Snowmass Village Ice Age Fossil
DENVER-January 18, 2011-The results of the Denver Museum of Nature
& Science's "Name the Mammoth" contest are in, and voters have
selected "Snowy" as the name of the first mammoth discovered at a
spectacular Ice Age fossil site near Snowmass Village last fall.
More than 15,000 people cast ballots online and at the Museum
during the last month to decide the name.
The Columbian mammoth, a young female, was discovered on October
14, 2010, as crews were working to expand Ziegler Reservoir outside
Snowmass Village. A month of excavation followed, and Museum crews
discovered an entire Ice Age ecosystem including as many as 10
American mastodons, three other Columbian mammoths, two Ice Age
deer, four Ice Age bison, a Jefferson's ground sloth, a tiger
salamander, insects, snails, and large quantities of plant matter.
Scientists consider the find to be one of the most significant in
Colorado history. The Museum has named the excavation and related
activities The Snowmastodon Project™. The Museum decided to
hold a contest to name the original mammoth discovery because of
the overwhelming public interest in the discovery.
"Snowy," named for Snowmass Village, beat out four other naming
options, each of which had a unique association with the mammoth.
The other choices were
- Jessie-named for bulldozer operator Jesse Steele, who uncovered
the first bones while working in Ziegler Reservoir on October
- Ella-named for the three-year-old daughter of construction
superintendant, Kent Olson, who took the bones home to try to
identify them and realized they'd discovered something big
- Ziggy -named for the Ziegler family, who owned the land where
the reservoir was built and the Ice Age site was discovered
- Samammoth-named for Museum educator Samantha Sands, who
presented mammoth programs to 8,500 schoolchildren in five days in
the Roaring Fork Valley
Also today, the Museum is kicking off a coloring contest where
children can imagine what Colorado looked like during the Ice Age,
and draw their favorite Ice Age animal. Winners will receive a
family four pack of Museum and IMAX 3D tickets. With so many
different types of animals discovered near Snowmass Village, there
are ample opportunities for kids to be creative with their
drawings. Winners will be selected in four age categories (4
and under, ages 4-6, ages 7-9, ages 10-12). The entry form and
coloring page is available at www.dmns.org/snowmastodon-project.
Entries are due by February 18, 2011.
The fossils discovered at Ziegler Reservoir are currently being
preserved in the Museum's conservation lab in preparation for
scientific study and are not on public display. Because the fossils
were encased in wet sediments for so long, they must dry out in a
very slow, controlled manner or they may crack and fall apart.
Since the fossils are being preserved behind the scenes, the Museum
is using its website to share new images of some of the fossils.
Visit www.dmns.org/science/collections to see a 360-degree
view of one of the spectacular fully cleaned mastodon teeth
discovered at Ziegler Reservoir, and to learn more about how
American mastodons lived during the Ice Age.
About the Denver Museum of Nature &
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