‹‹ Colorado Postcards


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(Photo: Courtesy of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science)
<p>Artist Kent Ullberg works on his bronze sculpture “Snowmastodon,” which is now at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. </p>

October, 2010, near Snowmass Village, a crew digs in mud to expand a reservoir. They find what they think are cow bones. Then a bulldozer brings up huge ribs and a tusk from a mammoth. That’s not terribly unusual in Colorado, but this discovery is special: the bones are well preserved. The skeleton is nearly complete. They find three more Columbian mammoths, and significantly, rare American mastodons. Thirty five in all. The ice age giants both have tusks and trunks but are unrelated – and until this discovery, never found together.

The Snowmass site, also known as "Snowmastodon," gives up even more treasures: Ice-age bison, horses and deer, even a sloth and a camel. These and other animals, insects and plants tell a story of Colorado’s climate changes over millennia. And there will be more. The reservoir was reflooded after only a tenth of the area was excavated, leaving more fossils undisturbed, ready for another generation to unearth.

About Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards are snapshots of our colorful state in sound. They give brief insights into our people and places, our flora and fauna, and our past and present, from every corner of Colorado.