"Cool" Ice Age Skull
Photograph courtesy Heather Rousseau, Denver Museum of Nature & ScienceScientists unearth an Ice Age bison skull near Snowmass Village, Colorado, on November 6.
"I'm trying to think of a cooler fossil that I've even seen in my life," dig team member Kirk Johnson, chief curator at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, said in a statement.
The bison skull is part of a "bumper crop" of Ice Age animals recently discovered at the site, including American mastodons, Columbian mammoths, tiger salamanders, and a Jefferson's ground sloth—the first ever found in Colorado, according to the Denver museum. Construction workers stumbled upon the Ice Age treasure trove in October while working on a reservoir-expansion project.
While winter weather has put a hold on excavations at the site, scientists are analyzing many of the 600 fossils found so far—thought to date to at least 130,000 years ago—at the Denver museum's laboratory. (See "Comet "Shower" Killed Ice Age Mammals?")
Team member Scott Elias, a paleoecologist at Royal Holloway, University of London, also announced in January that he has extracted beetles and other insects from peat samples taken from the site.
Published February 9, 2011
Pictures: "Remarkable" Ice Age Fossil Cache Found