Posted: Nov 3, 2010 3:19 PM by Greg Boyce
Updated: Nov 3, 2010 3:24 PM
Scientists from The Denver Museum of Nature and Science continue to excavate bones found during a reservoir construction project a couple of weeks ago. The first bones found belonged to a juvenile Columbian mammoth.
An excavation began Tuesday at the Ziegler Reservoir outside of Snowmass Village. Almost immediately they found the top of a skull. Based on the finding of two mastodon tusks nearby, Dr. Steve Holen believes the skull is from a mastodon. The teeth of Columbian mammoths and mastodons are quite different and if exposed, will confirm the identification.
This discovery was made by Museum volunteer Don Brandborg, who has given more than 10,000 hours of his time to the Museum since he started volunteering in 1996. Brandborg is a graduate of the Museum's Paleontology Certification Program, which trains citizen scientists to assist on Museum fossil digs across the region. Brandborg discovered the skull on his first day at the dig site, and in his first hour on the job. "I hit pay dirt. This is just wonderful," said Brandborg of his discovery.