Today marks halfway point in seven-week dig
The team from the Denver Museum of Nature & Science is
accelerating their digging effort this week as they reach the
halfway point in the seven-week project to remove Ice Age fossils
from Ziegler Reservoir near Snowmass Village. Five local volunteers
and 10 additional people from Denver have joined the onsite crew of
more than 40, which is digging at an aggressive pace with the help
of two excavators, two track hoes, and additional machines.
"Our goal is to remove 50 percent of the bones by the end of this
week," said Dr.
Kirk Johnson, the leader of the Museum's excavation team and
vice president of the Research and Collections Division. "We worked
closely with engineers who staked out the exact locations to dig
and expose the ancient lake bottom, where most of the fossils are
located. The landscape is changing daily as we pull out tons of
dirt and incredible numbers of fossils."
More than 1,000 fossils have been uncovered since digging resumed
on May 15, including 15 jacketed fossils of mastodon skulls and
pelvises that each weigh 300 to 700 pounds and are the size of a
kitchen stove. A team of 10 individuals is cleaning, wrapping, and
processing the fossils to prepare them for conservation and
research back at the Museum in Denver.
Scientists and educators from the Museum plan to share the latest
about this amazing find at several upcoming events, including the
Ice Age Spectacular in Snowmass Village on June 18 and 19, and
presentations by Johnson at Colorado Mountain College on June 15
and at the Aspen Institute on June 23.
NO BONE LEFT BEHIND CHALLENGE!
With only seven weeks to spend in the field and bones popping
out of the ground left and right, it's only natural for things to
get a little competitive at the dig site. Follow teams Mammoth,
Sloth, Tiger Salamander, and Trench as they compete for the biggest
bone count in the No Bones Left Behind Challenge. Watch the video
on this page to get introduced to the team captains, and stayed
tuned this Friday for an update on which team is in the lead. Who
are you rooting for?