Discovery of Mammoth Proportions in Rural Iowa

Two years ago an Oskaloosa man and his sons made a discovery of a mammoth skeleton while hunting for berries on their land. "I got down on my hands and knees on the bank and I could see a marrow line around the edge and I said boys, that's a bone, that's a really big bone" John. The knee joint of the femur is the size of a soccer ball. But the bones are just the beginning of a look back into what life was like in Southeast Iowa 12,000 years ago.


This femur was just the start. In the past two years John has periodically dug where he originally found the femur and has uncovered nearly 20 other bones. These include ribs, five cervical vertebrae that were articulated and an assortment of terminal phalanges. John has recently enlisted the help of the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History to lead a continued excavation to hopefully uncover what looks to be a fairly complete mammoth.



Last Updated: June 13, 2012