While excavating, a farmer in Ellis County hit the tusk of a mammoth buried on his land; further investigation by the pros have unearthed a nearly complete and intact female Columbian mammoth skeleton dating back 30,000 years or so. Her pristine condition makes her exceptional. The farmer, Wayne McEwan, is donating the find to the two-year-old Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas.
It took a group of paleontology professionals and amateur enthusiasts, overseen by Tom Vance of Navarro College, two months to unearth the Late Pleistocene beast (she was small for a mammoth; about the size of a modern elephant). For at least the next year, Vertebrate Paleontologist Dr. Ronald Tykoski of the Perot will study and assess the skeleton at an undisclosed location in Dallas. The great news here is that the animal wasn’t sent to the auction block only to disappear into a private collection never to be seen again. Kudos to Farmer McEwan for doing the right thing, and welcome to Dallas, Ms. Mammoth!