AMERICAN FALLS, Idaho — A portion of a Columbian mammoth skull and tusks have been uncovered in southeastern Idaho, and experts say a rare entire skeleton might be buried there.
Experts estimate the mammoth was about 16 years old and lived about 70,000 to 120,000 years ago in what was a savanna-like country populated with large herbivores and predators.
The skeleton was spotted by a fossil hunter earlier this month near American Falls Reservoir and excavated by students and instructors from Idaho State University.
But the team had to postpone their work Oct. 18 as the reservoir’s water level rose.
Mary Thompson, Idaho Museum of Natural History collections manager and university instructor, says they built a barrier to keep the fossil in place while underwater.
Workers plan to go back next summer when the reservoir drops.