DMNS crews worked 18 days in the Fall of 2010 and 69 days in Spring of 2011 worked tirelessly, averaging 10-hour days, 7 days per week in the field.
• 51 days in 2011, May 14–July 3, 2011
• 18 days in 2010, October 29–November 15, 2010
• 69 total days of fossil excavation
• 7,000 yards/8,000 tons of dirt were moved by shovel in 2011
• an average crew size of 40 to 50 people worked at the site each day in 2011
• 231 different people (staff, volunteers, interns, scientists, etc.) worked on the site in 2011
• the effort involved 2,870 days of work in 2011, totaling 28,700 hours
In total, 4,826 bones were pulled from the site in 2011, including:
• 74 large specimens in plaster jackets
• 49 tusks (29 upper jaw tusks and 20 lower jaw tusks)
• 34 mandibles (jaws)
• 23 skulls
• 20 pelvises
• 82 loose teeth
Additionally, crews recovered 125 logs and numerous samples of peat, wood, leaves, and rocks
and 26 different vertebrate animals from the site have been identified, and the number of Ice Age species will grow as work continues at the Museum.
7 large mammals:
• American mastodon, parts of at least 30 individuals; most prevalent large animal at the site
• giant bison, parts of at least 10 individuals
• ground sloth, parts of at least 4 individuals
• Columbian mammoth, parts of at least 3 individuals
• deer, parts of at least 3 individuals
• horse, based on a single ankle bone
• camel, based on a single tooth
19 types of smaller animals:
• mink or weasel
• beaver, known from distinctly chewed sticks
• frog, 4 species
• lizard, 2 species
• bird, numerous species
LOCAL VOLUNTEERS AND STUDENTS
15 local educators from the Roaring Fork Valley worked side-by-side with renowned scientists and other Museum staff doing the actual work of the excavation. The volunteer program aimed to give educators real‐world experience with the science happening right in their own backyard so they can inspire their students and neighbors with their knowledge and personal experiences from working on the fossil dig.
6 students from Colorado Mountain College also participated by excavating fossils using shovels, pick axes, trowels, and brushes; screening sediments to look for bone fragments and other material; applying plaster “jackets” to fossils in the field; and washing and cataloging fossils.
55 scientists were onsite to begin intense scientific investigation about the origin of the Ice Age lake and its history. This included most of the scientific team of 37 experts from 18 institutions in the United States, Canada, Spain, and England, who are involved in the project and whose work will make the most of the site’s scientific potential, as well as several other affiliated scientists.
Their onsite activities included collecting cores of sediment from the ancient lake bed totaling 56 meters in length, studying the sediment that fills the ancient lake, making high-resolution scans of the fossils in place, and collecting more than 1,100 samples for analysis.
6,000 local elementary students (grades preK–6) experienced “Time Scene Investigation: Snowmass Village,” a tech‐savvy assembly program developed and delivered by the Museum. This interactive program allowed students to learn more about the Ice Age fossil discoveries through top‐notch professional science educators, specimens from the Museum collections, props, and multimedia presentations.
400 local middle and high school students experienced “Mammoth of a Find: Live Broadcast from the Dig Site.”This 45‐minute live broadcast connected Museum scientists from the Ice Age fossil dig site directly with students via satellite for a two‐way interactive experience. Scientists shared new discoveries, demonstrated field research techniques, and answered questions to give students a window into science careers.
1,600 people attended the Ice Age Spectacular in Snowmass Village. The two-day event, hosted by the Museum in partnership with Snowmass Tourism, allowed participants to see real fossils discovered less than a mile away; watch live broadcasts of Museum scientists at the dig site; play Ice Age games, puzzles, and crafts; meet Snowy the mascot; and enjoy activities for the whole family.
800 people attended various local presentations by Kirk Johnson, PhD, the leader of the excavation team and vice president of the Museum’s Research and Collections Division, which were hosted by Colorado Mountain College, the Aspen Institute, and other organizations.
The New York Times featured the fossil find on the front page of the science section on Tuesday, July 5.
The National Geographic Society plans to feature the Ice Age fossil finds in National Geographic magazine and in a NOVA-National Geographic special on PBS—both to be released in the next year.
National Geographic: "Remarkable" Ice Age Fossil Cache Found
kjct8.com: Ice Age Bones From Snowmass Visit Capitol
krextv.com: Unearthing Ice Age Mysteries of Snowmass
The Snowmastodon Project ™ is a registered trademark of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science