Snowmastodon fossil fever comes to Avon
Ryan Summerlin April 4, 2012
In October of 2010 a young female mammoth bone was found at the base of Snowmass Village at an excavation site in the Ziegler Reservoir. Almost immediately, Denver Museum of Nature and Science scientists began a journey that would lead to the discovery of 5,000 Ice Age fossils. By the end of the dig, bones from more than 40 different mastodons of all ages were found, making the now famous site “one of the finest mastodon sites in the world,” according to Chief Curator, Dr. Kirk Johnson. Researchers will study the bones over the next year with hopes of learning more about Colorado’s Ice Age and the Rocky Mountain climate 50,000 to 150,000 years ago.On Saturday, Walking Mountains Science Center welcomes Johnson, Dr. Ian Miller and other researchers from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science at the new Avon campus. This “Ice Age day” will offer programs about the Snowmass dig for both children and adults. A 45-minute interactive presentation called “Time Scene Investigations” will take place at 11 a.m. and again at 2 p.m. Kids and their parents will come face to face with mammoths, mastodons and real scientists. Students will use scientific inquiry to learn about the Ice Age, how their backyard has changed over time, and what the scientists are learning about the Snowmass Village area and the creatures that once lived there. Johnson and Miller will take the stage at 5 p.m. for 60 minutes to present a slide show and discussion about the Snowmass dig. They will also introduce their new book, “Digging Snowmastodon: Discovering an Ice Age World in the Colorado Rockies,” followed by a book signing.These events are free to the public but require reservations due to limited seating. Call Walking Mountains Science Center at 970-827-9725 to secure your spot.