Mammoths & Mastodons

Over the last few weeks I have done something that I have been wanting to do for a very long time. I have restored and reconstructed a complete fossil skeleton.

The skeleton in question is a Two-Tusked Mastodon from Texas, and was restored and constructed in the Mt Blanco Working Fossil Museum in Crosbyton, Texas by myself and Joe Taylor.

Another Mastodon we worked on came from Florida, that we picked up after Tucson to sort out and restore.

The first striking thing about the skeleton was the colour. It was bright blue in many places, particularly the teeth, and a mixture of brown to grey to black in other places. As the Mastodon began to be sorted out, a strange mystery revealed itself. 

 First, the dirt matrix around the skeleton was full of shells. Shells and a mastodon together? Certainly, an unusual occurrence! Then the bones themselves began to reveal even more. It turned out that the were at least 4, possibly 5 mastodon individuals on the pile of bones brought back. There were also mammoth bones in the pile as well, including mammoth teeth. While this may not seem significant, it’s important to realise that mammoths and mastodons were not supposed to live together, and thousands of years were supposed to be between them. Yet here they were buried and fossilised together, in a mass mortality fossil graveyard. 

The other bones also fit with the idea of a sudden mass death site, buried very quickly. These bones included horse, giant turtle, tortoise, deer, rhino and crocodile. All of these animals live in different habitats and ecosystems, so what are they doing buried here?The answer is simple, whenever you have animals of different habitats mixed and buried together in the same place, a catastrophic flooding event has occurred! There are disagreements among creation researchers as to whether this deposit was formed in the flood of Noah’s day, or whether this was a smaller-scale catastrophe caused by the after-affectsof the an ice-melt post flood, but the point remains the same. The evolutionary assumptions of slow deposition and fossilisation over millions of years simply does not hold up in the real world!

We also held a meeting at the museum giving a talk in fossils, fungus, and snakes. Good number of people, and a good conversation with the local sheriff candidate as well!

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