Mammoth carbon dating
ANN ARBOR—On the fourth floor of the University of Michigan's Museum of Natural History, in a large gallery set aside for temporary exhibits, a room has been built to display the remains of an ice age mammoth pulled from a farmer's field near Chelsea on Oct. The Bristle Mammoth exhibit opens to the public Nov. And unlike most other museum exhibits, the designers left empty space to accommodate additional research findings and mammoth remains that could be added in the future.The first radiocarbon date is considered preliminary and will be reported when the team submits its findings for publication.Exhibit visitors will see the real skull on display, fitted with a mosaic of white plastic segments so the scientists can continue to study the real broken bones.The exhibit will also include a fiberglass cast of the Bristle Mammoth's left tusk, which is 11 feet long and curved like a banana with a slight spiral twist.Bristle gave U-M researchers one day to recover whatever remains they could find; after that, the drainage project needed to resume.Securing the mammoth skull and tusks with straps before hoisting it out of the pit.The second line of evidence for human involvement with the Bristle Mammoth consists of three boulders recovered alongside the skull during the dig.
The Bristle bones were found about 10 feet below the current land surface, in fine-grained clays and marls from a pond that no longer exists.The animal was a male in its mid-40s and would have weighed about 9 tons.First, they found what Fisher describes as "intentional breakage" of multiple skull bones "targeted toward removal of nutritious tissues that humans might wish to harvest," including the brain, the trunk and the tusk pulp cavities.The community has shown more excitement about the Bristle Mammoth than any other project I can remember," said Amy Harris, director of the U-M Museum of Natural History.A direct mail and crowdfunding campaign raised about ,000 to pay for the exhibit and to help defray Fisher's ongoing research expenses.
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Notably missing are the limb and foot bones and the tail vertebrae.