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Theory On Snowmass Ice Age Mastodons: Quicksand

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The fossil dig in Snowmass Village (credit: Denver Museum of Nature and Science)

The fossil dig in Snowmass Village (credit: Denver Museum of Nature and Science)

DENVER (AP) — Scientist at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science say they’re testing a theory that an earthquake or a series of earthquakes turned an ancient lakebed into quicksand, trapping 30 mastodons and dozens of other animals near Snowmass Village.

The museum wrapped up excavation at the site in July that started last year when a bulldozer operator discovered a bone while working on the expansion of the Ziegler Reservoir. Museum officials released an update Thursday.

More than 4,800 bones have been unearthed and scientists have identified 41 species of animals. The find include bones from mammoth, mastodon, ground sloth, camel, deer and giant bison as well as from smaller animals such as beavers, lemmings and squirrels.

Museum say more than 40 scientists are analyzing various aspects of the site.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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