Putting Snowmastodon on the Archaeological Map

Putting Snowmastodon on the Archaeological Map

There’s so much more to Snowmass than world-class skiing!

‘Nova’ on PBS recently aired a fascinating program about how, during an expansion project on the Zeigler Reservoir just a short walk from the Snowmass Mall, an incredible archaeological find was uncovered between November 2010 and July 2011, consisting of 4,826 bones from mastodons and 26 different ice-age vertebrates dating back 150,000 – 130,000years.

This find is considered to be one of the most important recent paleontological discoveries and is one of the few high-altitude fossil sites (at 8,874 ft / 2,705 m above sea level) – proving to be especially significant for preserving a snapshot of the diversity of the ecosystem, all in one place. The fossils recovered are remarkably well-preserved; the plant matter is still green and beetle exoskeletons are still iridescent.

Scientists believe that there’s a good chance that intact DNA can be recovered from some of the vertebrate fossils.

You can view the program in its entirety on PBS Nova.


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