Monday, July 18, 2005

Mastodon & Mammoth Fossils in California

In the past two weeks, there have been two fossil finds in California.

The first discovery was in San Jose. A local resident was walking along a canal along the Guadalupe River, and discovered several large bones that he thought were "too large to be a cow." He called local museums and the water authority (who maintains the canal) about his discovery, which apparently also called the local media.

When the story hit the news wires, several local residents showed up with shovels and pails in hand to "help" uncover more of the animal. Local volunteers stayed with the fossil to protect it from such enterprising individuals, until David Goodwin of the UC Berkeley Museum of Paleontology came to examine the bones and confirm that they did, in fact, belong to a Mastodon.

The Museum will be excavating the bones and removing them to the museum for further study.

Read the full news article.

The second find was in Tulare County (south central section of California, east of Monterey County); a single Mammoth tusk was found by a dairyman on his farm in Pixley.

The farmer was urged by neighbors to keep his find to himself; however his college-aged daughter brought a piece of the fossil in to her anthropology professor, who immediately recognized it as fossil material.

Read the AP newswire article.