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Ponies and the Pleistocene--Growing

2013-09-18

Minty is looking over Mammoth W, a young female at the Waco Mammoth Site. Mammoth W (some of us call her Wanda) is special for many reasons.

W lies in the uppermost level, unlike the other females buried in the lowest level, pictured in the lower right. She was not part of the nursery herd that perished 65,000 years ago. Instead, she was buried with Mammoth Q, our male, roughly 50,000 years ago. This is one of many unsolved mysteries at the site. Were they a mating pair? Or had they just met? Bones from at least two mammoths lie between them, one of them from a juvenile. Are we seeing the outer edges of yet another nursery herd, or is this a small group who wandered off on their own?

W also is our most-studied mammoth. Her tusk was removed to examine the growth rings inside. Thickness of the rings indicate the health of the animal; isotopes contained within them tell us where they migrated.

But most importantly, W was the last mammoth excavated at the site, discovered in 2000. Excavation has been on hold since then, waiting for the site to get the facilities it needs for full research and preservation of the fossils. Until then, other fossils remain safely buried, waiting for us.

You can help. A petition to add the Waco Mammoth Site to the United States National Park Service is being presented to the White House. If added, development of the site will speed up, and research can start again. Please consider signing, and be sure to tell others!

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
hotclaws
Sep. 18th, 2013 11:42 am (UTC)
I can't sign because I'm not American but I've passed it on to USAian friends .I love your stories .
zargon
Sep. 18th, 2013 05:40 pm (UTC)
Are these just plain mammal bones, albeit a few thousand years old? Or are these fossilize bones that have actually been turned to rock? I always assumed that fossilization takes a few million years to complete?
dava
Sep. 18th, 2013 06:06 pm (UTC)
These are sub-fossils, fossils which have not been fully permineralized.
jaysons_lady
Sep. 19th, 2013 02:46 pm (UTC)
Except that petitions on whitehouse.gov never actually accomplish anything. You get better results using petitions on sites like change.org, which actually have had effect on governments before.

With the whitehouse.gov, all you ever get is an email telling you they appreciate your input.
dava
Sep. 19th, 2013 03:38 pm (UTC)
I think we should be optimistic about this. Most petitions are ignored because they call for sweeping changes like defunding the NSA. Dedicated a national park by executive order, however, is routine. In the last century, every president except one has done it.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

Kimono's Townhouse

Kimono's Townhouse is copyright Dava Butler. My Little Pony and all related characters, including Kimono and Minty, are copyright of Hasbro, Inc. All other characters are copyright of their respective owners. This site has no affiliation with Hasbro, and no infringement of its properties is intended.



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