60,000- Year –old Mammoth’s Skeleton Unearthed from McEwen’s Property
McEwen family in North Texas has found an intact skeleton of Woolly mammoth while excavating a gravel pit on their farm in Ellis County, just south of Dallas.
According to the estimations, the skeleton seems to be 40,000-60,000 years old. These extinct species ranged through the southern half of North America and south into Mexico before becoming extinct approximately 12,500 years ago.
This remarkable discovery happened in May when Marty McEwen, son of Wayne McEwen and Ethan Besealy, and Wayne's grandson were working on a gravel pit and they hit on something unusual. They dug through the dirt and came across a 6 foot long tusk. After that, more volunteers were called to carry out careful digging. Eventually, a near complete skeleton of a Columbian Mammoth was found.
The family has decided to donate it to the city's Perot Museum of Nature and Science. The Perot Museum in a press release called the donation extremely generous and thanked the family. The skeleton was nicknamed Ellie May (after the location and date of its discovery).
Dr. Ron Tykoski, curator of Earth Sciences at the Museum of Nature and Science at Dallas, mentions that that the mammoth belonged to a different species than that usually pictured when people think of a Woolly Mammoth. He said that the animal seems to be a female and is believed to have been approximately 8-9 feet tall at the shoulder, similar to the size of a modern -day female Asian elephant.
The project director, paleontologist Tom Vance, said, "I am extremely excited about this outstanding find. It's very unique for North Central Texas, what is so meaningful is to know that this animal walked through our backyard thousands of years ago".
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