Wooly Mammoth Tooth Discovered at Northwest Iowa Community College
An engineer working on an Iowa construction site made a discovery of a lifetime earlier this month.
According to the City of Sheldon Facebook page, Justin Blauwet was working on the site where a new sewer lift station on land that is owned by Northwest Iowa Community College. While he was there back on March 4, he discovered a tooth that once belonged to a woolly mammoth.
The tooth has been verified as a woolly mammoth tooth and weighs 11.2 pounds. A very cool find. It is being carefully preserved, and NCC plans to loan it to the Sheldon Prairie Museum. The tooth is believed to be an upper 3rd molar and the animal was in it's 30's when it died.
According to KIWA radio, the tooth measures seven inches by four inches. Not as large as one would expect for something that weighs over 11 pounds.
The tooth will be loaned to the Sheldon Prairie Museum on a semi-permanent basis so that it may be seen by the public.
The wooly mammoth lived during the Pleistocene or "Ice Age" and evolved from the steppe mammoth around 800,000 years ago. There were isolated populations living as recently as 4,000 years ago. The tooth found in Sheldon is thought to be at least 20,000 years old.
If the mammoth is interesting to you, it is a must to go see the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs. While it is a bit of a drive from Rapid City, it's a living, breathing excavation site because of the large number of mammoths that all died there.
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