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October 27, 2014 at 1:36 PM

Possible complete mammoth skeleton found in Idaho

In this Oct. 16, 2014 photo provided by the Bureau of Reclamation, Idaho State University geology students Casey Dooms, from left, Adam Clegg, Jeff Castro and Travis Helm brush and clean a mammoth skull discovered near American Falls Reservoir near American Falls, Idaho. A portion of a mammoth skull and tusk have been uncovered in southeastern Idaho near American Falls Reservoir. The bones have been taken to the Idaho Museum of Natural history at Idaho State University in Pocatello where they will eventually be put on display. (AP Photo/Bureau of Reclamation, Dave Walsh)

In this Oct. 16 photo provided by the Bureau of Reclamation, Idaho State University geology students (from left) Casey Dooms, Adam Clegg, Jeff Castro and Travis Helm brush and clean a mammoth skull discovered near American Falls Reservoir near American Falls, Idaho. (AP Photo/Bureau of Reclamation, (Dave Walsh / Bureau of Reclamation)

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.

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