The votes are in: Call the Snowmass mammoth ‘Snowy’
DENVER – Snowy is the favored name for the first mammoth found last fall at Ziegler Reservoir near Snowmass Village.The Denver Museum of Nature & Science held a Name the Mammoth contest, encouraging the public to vote on the name either online or in person at the museum. More than 15,000 people cast ballots during the past month, the museum said Tuesday.Snowy, as she is now known, was discovered Oct. 14, 2010 by a crew enlarging the reservoir. She was a young, female Columbian mammoth, according to scientists. The excavation that followed produced the remains of as many as 10 American mastodons, three other Columbian mammoths, two Ice Age deer, four Ice Age bison, a Jefferson’s ground sloth and other finds. Scientists consider the site one of the most significant in the state’s history.The name Snowy, a nod to Snowmass Village, beat out four other choices: Jessie, the female spelling honoring bulldozer operator Jesse Steele, who first uncovered the bones; Ella, for the 3-year-old daughter of construction superintendent Kent Olson; Ziggy, for the Ziegler family, former owners of the land; and Samammoth, for museum educator Samantha Sands, who took a mammoth program on the road to schools in the Roaring Fork Valley.Also Tuesday, the museum kicked off a coloring contest in which children can imagine what Colorado looked like during the Ice Age, and draw their favorite Ice Age animal. Winners will receive a family four pack of museum and IMAX 3D tickets they will be selected in four age categories (4 and under, ages 4-6, ages 7-9, ages 10-12). The entry form and coloring page is available at http://www.dmns.org/snowmastodon-project. Entries are due by Feb. 18.The fossils discovered at the site are currently being preserved in the museum’s conservation lab and are not on public display. Because they were encased in wet sediments for thousands of years, they are being dried out in a slow, controlled manner so they don’t crack and fall apart.Go to http://www.dmns.org/science/collections to see a 360-degree view of one of the fully cleaned mastodon teeth discovered at the reservoir.Finally, the museum on Tuesday announced its science educators will return to Roaring Fork Valley schools this spring to present programs about the Ice Age discoveries near Snowmass. The educational outreach was created in response to public interest in the finds, particularly in the schools, the museum said.
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