Vote on the name for Snowmass mammoth
December 17, 2010
ASPEN – The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is asking the public to help name the first mammoth discovered at Ziegler Reservoir, the Ice Age fossil site near Snowmass Village.In addition, the museum has unveiled new exhibits related to the Snowmass finds, which include bones from mastodons, Columbian mammoths, Ice Age deer and bison, one Jefferson’s ground sloth (the first such find in Colorado), and more.The public can go to http://dmns.org/snowmastodon-project to cast a vote from among five nominated names or, starting Monday, cast a vote in person at the museum, on the bridge outside the IMAX 3D Theater on level 2. The voting will continue through Jan. 14 and the winning name announced on Jan. 18, according to the museum.The five choices each have some unique association with the mammoth that was the first discovery at the reservoir, uncovered during excavation work. They are:• Jessie – in honor of bulldozer operator Jesse Steele, who uncovered the first bones while working in Ziegler Reservoir on Oct. 14.• Ella – for the 3-year-old daughter of construction superintendent Kent Olson, who took the bones home to try to identify them and realized they’d discovered something big.• Ziggy – in recognition of the Ziegler family, who once owned the land where the reservoir was built and where the fossils were found.• Samammoth – for museum educator Samantha Sands, who presented mammoth programs to 8,500 schoolchildren in five days in the Roaring Fork Valley. • Snowy – in honor of Snowmass Village.At the museum, visitors can touch actual tusk fragments at the Mammoth Cart outside the IMAX Theater. In addition, the cart features samples of the peat that the bones were buried in, and photos and video from the excavation. Visitors can also touch models of mammoth and mastodon teeth to learn more about the differences between the animals.The Earth Today show on the Galaxy Stage in Space Odyssey at the museum is devoted to the Snowmass discoveries. The live show runs daily, offering information about the excavation and how the fossils are being preserved.Visitors may also stop by the windows in the paleontology lab in the Prehistoric Journey section of the museum to watch preparation of the fossils.Finally, visitors can learn more about the ecology of peat bogs at a new display inside the North American Wildlife diorama hall on level 2. The display includes a small bone and peat samples from the Ziegler excavation.