Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mammoths visit Pacifica in route to warmer weather

Pacifica Tribune/Jean Bartlett, 7/10/12.  "Ian Butler and Chuck Evans uncover the ancient in Quarry Cove exhibit 'Stones and Bones'"
Columbian Mammoth, photograph  BCE taken on site
"More than 11,000 years ago, maybe even more than 20,000 years ago, a 14 foot, 8-10 ton Columbian Mammoth, who had perhaps traveled from Alaska, and the Yukon, across the mid-western United States to the great expanse of the California coastline — lay down in an "inland grassy foothill, 23 miles from the Pacific Ocean" and closed its eyes for the last time. Fast forwarding in time, on October 15, 2011, long-time Pacifican and local activist Ian Butler was picking up trash along the bluffs of Esplanade shortly after a landslide, when he came across a molar — the molar of a Columbian Mammoth, the first mammoth fossils ever found in Pacifica.

"The bones had been in the cliff, but the landslide and the subsequent water action flushed the bones out and left them scattered across the sand," Butler said .... "There were only two bones that were 100 percent identifiers," Butler said. "One is the molar and one is part of the tusk."

....  The bones with photographs by Chuck Evans are currently on display at the Quarry Cove Art Gallery through mid August  2012.  The Quarry Cove Art Gallery is located at 225 Rockaway Beach Avenue, next to the Chamber of Commerce office."  Read Article.

Reference -  The Mammoth Site."The Columbian mammoth ranged from Alaska, and the Yukon, across the mid-western United States south into Mexico and Central America. Huge, standing almost 14 foot at the shoulder (420 cm), and weighing 8-10 tons, the Columbian mammoth could consume about 700 pounds of vegetation a day. The life span for a Columbian mammoth was 60 to 80 years.   ----  The ancestral mammoth, M. meridionalis, reached North America about 1.7 million years ago. Over thousands of years, adapting to the North American environment, the ancestral mammoth evolved to become the Columbian mammoth (the American mammoth)." 

Posted by Kathy Meeh


todd bray said...

Ian came by the house one day for an unrelated issue and showed me these bones. He has a gift for this particular spot, the waterfall area and is drawn to it. I'm very happy for him that he has this calling.

ian butler said...

The reception was a great success, anyone who missed it can still come to the exhibit and see the fossils before they get tucked into storage and await the eventual opening of the Pacifica History Museum!

Anonymous said...

That's going to be a long wait. Maybe you could display them again next year? Get the schools involved? Loan to another museum?
Hate to see them unappreciated.

Anonymous said...

Did you get a permit from the Coastal Commission, Parks and Rec and the Preserve Wooly Mammoth Remains Society to excavate our sensitive sand cliffs?
I think we need a public hearing on this matter then a few years of study then a vote of the people.

Anonymous said...

oh gawd the coastal commission will
bring along fish and game and they'll decide an "illegal take" has occurred and you know this has got to be the protected critter of all time and then, uh oh, Ian goes on the lam and becomes a forest sprite and is very rarely sighted near Pacifica.

Kathy Meeh said...

"...Hate to see them unappreciated." Anon 403, 438, 508.

Geological findings, identified as ancient Columbian Mammoth bones? I think Ian's efforts are very much appreciated, and FMV this find is also amusing. After all, the landslide wasn't just dirt, it was a partial ancient record of what lived here long before us.

Anonymous said...

I'm anon 403 and instead of saying unappreciated perhaps I should have said shared with more people. I agree, it's a wonderful find.