Mammoth Skeleton Found at Va. Dig Site

September 16, 2010

A mammoth skeleton is among the finds the director of East Tennessee State University's paleontology center unearthed during a summer of Ice Age excavations in Saltville, Virginia.

The mammoth skeleton was particularly interesting because it shows evidence of exceptionally large bite marks, indicating that something big, perhaps a giant short-faced bear, had been munching on it.

ETSU's Blaine Schubert said the find represents the best potential evidence that the giant bears, which were up to 5 1/2 feet at the shoulder when on all fours, scavenged on mammoths.

According to a university news release, Saltville has been known for its Ice Age fossils since Thomas Jefferson reported large bones from the valley in 1782.

Schubert has led students to the site for the past three years.

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