I was chilling with the family two weeks ago at Atlantis, Bahamas, when to my surprise an additional mammoth tusk entered my life. I got a hush-hush email and photo from a friend and long-time employee telling me that our contractor’s brand new Volvo excavator was at that moment assisting in the excavation of a large mammoth tusk and skull.
I was aware since 2007 that the stream channels Restoration Systems was restoring on the property (to off-set other development in the watershed) had revealed bones of extinct ice age mammals. A camel tooth and other Camelops parts had been found, and subsequent dirt scratching had revealed Toxodon remains — resulting in Toxodon’s most northerly and only N. American occurrence. Cool!
But at the time funds were apparently not available for further investigation. So outside of asking our operators to keep an eye out, and maintaining a faint interest in perhaps pitchin’ in someday to dig the blue-tarped site myself, (which we had left out of our project easement), the old bones were not my principal interest in the property.
It turns out that researchers had not turned their back on the site. Further excavation was commenced this Spring, apparently led by a private enthusiast who sought the help of our equipment as I lay by the pool. Since we returned I have spoken once to the landowner (RS only owns the mitigation easement) and she is putting me in touch with the researcher.
At this point everything is under wraps, literally and figuratively. The 11-foot long (!) brittle tusk has been plastered as seen in the photo and moved to safe keeping. And the owner and researcher are considering their options while not revealing the location or announcing the discovery at this time.