Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Mammoth Site, Hot Springs, South Dakota

Josephine loved listening to the tour guide on the phones. This is also her in the bone house.

We really enjoyed the Mammoth Dig site in Hot Springs, SD. It is an active museum/fossil dig site. There used to be a sink hole with a spring in it. Male mammoths, ages 19-35 would go to the edge to eat the greener grass in the winter or would climb in to drink. The ground would give way and they would fall in as they ate or they would climb in to drink and not be able to climb out of the slippery slopes on the side. Notice who and the age of the mammoths that fell in. There is a lesson in that. I must say, there are so many exceptions in humans to that generalization of men. My son, Cody, is extremely responsible and safe. He wouldn't eat the grass at the edge, he would design some contraption to cut the grass from a distance and then he would add bacon to it and eat it for breakfast! Ha! Ha! Anyways, all of us loved it. We were able to walk around the dig site and watch the actual scientists dig the bones up. It was surprising to see how little they have actually dug in the last 30 some years. They have dug about 22 feet down and still have at least 60 more feet. That would be around 90 more years of digging up mammoth bones. Yikes. The tour was excellent. Even little 2 yr old Josephine was entertained. She loved the mammoth bone house she got to play in. The museum also told about other extinct animals. All of us learned a ton.

They have found 58 Columbian Mammoths and 3 Woolly Mammoths, as well as 80 other species of animals and plants so far. They discovered the site in 1974.

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