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Rare Find: UNLV researchers dig up Columbian Mammoth in Nye County

UNLV researchers are excavating a remote site in Nye County after remains of a Columbian Mammoth were discovered. (Steve Rowland/UNLV)

UNLV researchers are excavating a remote undisclosed site in Nye County after remains of a Columbian Mammoth were discovered.

For the past five months, a team of faculty and students at UNLV have made the two-hour trip to learn more about the discovery of intact mammoth tusks dating back more than 20,000 years.

“The tusks on this animal are so big that we know it was a full grown male adult,” said UNLV Geology Professor Steve Rowland, who is leading the research team. “We haven't found any molars yet ... because the skull got chopped off I think.”

Rowland believes the mammoth likely died standing upright with its tusks still intact.

Although a large population of mammoths once roamed Southern Nevada, Rowland said this is a rare find.

“To get two tusks together still attached with bone is extraordinary. I’ve not seen any other site like that in Southern Nevada,” said Rowland.

The excavation will likely be a year-long endeavor, giving students a glimpse into the past.

“To learn about the things that are beyond human life in a sense,” said UNLV student Malik Milton.

As the UNLV team continues to dig deeper, they hope to find more mammoth.

The research team is also trying to raise money to support their efforts. To donate, visit the fundraising page they have set up.

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