Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Mammoth Site, Hot Springs, South Dakota

In a nutshell ~ The Mammoth Site was a very cool place to visit.

A bit of history ~ in 1974 a housing developer, Phil Anderson, was bulldozing the land to build houses, when he realized he found some very old bones and fossils, and more importantly, recognized the significance. He sold the land for what he paid for it, and as of today, the remains of approximately 60 mammoths have been found, along with Giant short-faced bears, camels, llama, prairie dogs, wolves and fish.

As an active archeological site, paleontologists are still digging and working, discovering more bones and fossils from the ice age. As they work, visitors are offered a 30-minute tour of the facilities, where one can learn about the history of the site, the ongoing research, and about the animals and their lives. Basically what happened was this was a sinkhole in which the mammoths fell into and could not get out, thus died, and were preserved.  For the record, all of the mammoth bones found are male, which might answer the question for men, “If your friend jumped off a bridge, would you follow?” Obviously for the mammoths of the ice age, the answer was a resounding, “yes.” :-)

After the 30-minute tour, guest are welcome to meander the site (not the dig area, but on the walkways) and take pictures and look at the fossils some more.  There is a small museum with various other fossils, such as the ever-popular elephant dung!

Easy and affordable - no matter where you are! 

1 comment:

John and Carol said...

We thought it was pretty cool too. Be sure to visit the nearby Wild Horse Sanctuary.

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