Mammoth Tusk Found by Grazing Permittees in BLM New Mexico
Tom and Sissy Olney, Bureau of Land Management grazing permittees in New Mexico, recently reported that a possible mammoth tusk was eroding out of an arroyo bank on BLM land within their grazing allotment.
BLM New Mexico State Paleontologist Phil Gensler and Gary Morgan of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History in Albuquerque partially excavated and stabilized the tusk. Gensler and Morgan, with assistance from the Olneys and their seven-year-old granddaughter Jenna Rose, finished excavating the tusk on June 26. The tusk was then taken to the Natural History Museum in Albuquerque for further stabilization and analysis.
The nearly complete tusk is about 5 feet long, which probably means that it was from a juvenile male or a female mammoth. Tusks of full-grown males can reach 10 feet in length. Though there is no way to determine the age of this tusk, mammoths went extinct in North America about 11,000 years ago.
Story and photos by BLM New Mexico