It’s fun to go back in time and imagine when Mammoths roamed the earth. Isabelle’s favorite animal is the Wooly Mammoths and she was extra excited to go visit the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, SD. It is said that every time they dig down anywhere in the Dakotas they find dinosaurs.
We arrive at the site just in time for the first tour and were lucky because there were only eight people total. In this huge indoor excavation site archeologists have found not only 59 Columbian Mammoth and Wooly Mammoth, but they have also found large bears, camels, wolves, and many other animals buried here.
Here are some facts that the girls thought were interesting:
Hugs loved learning that all the mammoths in the sinkhole were all juveniles and all male, they have found no females. They found fossilized poop, and you could see where the mammoths walked across the water. Munchy thought it was neat that all the most complete skeletons had names like Maury Antoinette (he was originally Marie but found out he was a boy), Beauty, and Joe were some other names. Whichever crew discovers the mammoth gets to name it. They got to hold a giant femur which lucky was only a cast and not the real thing because it would have weighed several hundred pounds. We learned that there were two different kids of mammoths (Columbian and Woolly) they were the same size as juveniles but the Columbians grew to be twice as big as the Woolly. The only predators they found were the short-face bear. They have also found North American camels (which are extent) and prier dogs which are alive today.
After a nice lunch and a nap, we headed to the Wind cave National Park. The exciting part is that we saw baby bison right next to the road. We didn’t want to slow down because we noticed that those stopped had bison heads inside their tiny cars. This of course sparks questions about bison:
Why did they go extent? If they use every part of the bison what is the bladder used for? How big is baby bison when they are born? Why do they hear them into Custer Park in the fall? How do heard protect their young from predators? Do cows do the same thing? Why did we call them buffallo?