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Two Mammoth Skeletons Found on One Farm...in Iowa

"To have so many different parts of the body showing up at this point gives us some idea that there should be more around here."

(Photo: KCCI)

Earlier this year, scientists uncovered a nearly complete mammoth skeleton on an Iowan farm and more recently found the remains of a second. Researchers have confirmed these are two distinct mammoths, which suggests there could be more in the area.

According to Omaha.com, Jim North, a professor at William Penn University in Oskaloosa (the town where the farm is located), said the discovery of two individual mammoths in such close proximity is a rarity.

The bones were first spotted by a farmer's children a couple years ago and the dig for the more recent mammoth discovery has been occurring since the spring. Omaha.com reports that over the weekend scientists from local universities and even local high school students were participating in the excavation of the more than 10,000-year-old bones.

Iowa's KCCI reports that with this more recent find scientists will be remaining on the farm for a few more months to conduct further research. Sarah Horgen with the University of Iowa has more on the discovery:

"We have half of the skull here, and it's facedown. You can see the tooth in the jaw," Horgen said. "This is only part of the skull. It's broken down on this side, so we're hoping the other side is buried under the stump here. We're not sure, we haven't gotten there yet."

[...]

"To have so many different parts of the body showing up at this point gives us some idea that there should be more around here," said Horgen.

"Especially the tooth that appeared today... Teeth are the best for getting dates off the mammoth because of the enamel protecting the insides and also keeping out contaminants from the environment," Horgen said.

Among the bones, fossilized remains of vegetation were identified as well. Naturalist Dave Brenzel with the Indian Creek Nature Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, said these provide further clues as to what the animal's environment was like at the time.

“Two were entombed in their environment," Brenzel said.

See more photos of the new mammoth bones here.

This ABC News report from June discusses the first skeleton found on the farm:

Related:

(H/T: Yahoo! News)

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