Home Local News WOOLY MAMMOTH FOSSIL FOUND IN SHELDON

WOOLY MAMMOTH FOSSIL FOUND IN SHELDON

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A CONTRACTOR WITH DGR ENGINEERING WORKING ON A LIFT STATION PROJECT FOR THE CITY OF SHELDON FOUND A PREHISTORIC ARTIFACT DURING DIGGING AT THE WORKSITE.

JUSTIN BLAUWET FOUND A WOOLLY MAMMOTH TOOTH ON PROPERTY OWNED BY NORTHWEST IOWA COMMUNITY COLLEGE NEAR THE SHELDON REC TRAIL, ABOUT 800 FEET WEST OF THE FLOYD RIVER.

EXPERTS SAY THE TOOTH, WHICH WEIGHS MORE THAN ELEVEN POUNDS, WAS LIKELY IN THE GROUND SINCE THE LAST GLACIAL MAXIMUM WHICH WAS LIKELY OVER 20-THOUSAND YEARS AGO.

BLAUWET SAYS HE WAS ABLE TO IDENTIFY THE DISTINCT TOOTH, BECAUSE HE HAS ALWAYS BEEN INTERESTED IN FOSSILS AND PREHISTORIC ANIMALS.

NORTHWEST IOWA COMMUNITY COLLEGE OFFICIALS SAY THEY WILL RETAIN OWNERSHIP OF THE TOOTH, BUT WILL DISPLAY IT AT THE PRAIRIE MUSEUM IN SHELDON.

MEASURES ARE BEING TAKEN TO PROTECT THE TOOTH FROM DRYING OUT TOO RAPIDLY AND POSSIBLY DISINTEGRATING.

THE TOOTH MEASURES 11 X 7 X 4 INCHES AND WEIGHS 11.2 POUNDS.

EXPERTS SAY BASED ON THE DEGREE OF WEAR, THE MAMMOTH WAS PROBABLY IN ITS EARLY 30’S WHEN IT DIED.

photos courtesy DGR Engineering & Northwest Iowa Community College