DALLAS — This isn’t the movie Ice Age, but one character looks like she stepped out of it.
We first met this Columbian mammoth last summer when paleontologists excavated a nearly intact skeleton in Ellis County.
“The first time I saw the specimen, I walked up to this great big hole in the ground in a sand and gravel quarry," explained Dr. Ron Tykoski, Perot Museum Paleontologist. "And as you walk up, you just see it and suddenly, you don’t have to be a paleontologist to look at that and go, 'That’s a skeleton of an elephant.' It’s all there. It’s all together or pretty darn close.”
Now 35 to 40-thousand-year-old "Ellie May" has a home in the Perot Museum of Nature and Science.
“At 18-20 years old, she died in the prime of her life. How did she preserve that well? She died and got buried very quickly. Nothing ate her. There’s groundwater flowing through to help preserve the bones, and nothing bothered her for 40,000 years until folks digging in their sand and gravel pit found her with an excavator,” Dr. Tykoski added. “Turns out, Texas has a wonderful paleontological record. Mammoths really liked Texas back in the Ice Age.”
“We heard about the bioluminescence exhibit, so we really wanted to see that. And then we noticed the Ellie May Exhibit was open, so double greatness,” Lisa Hale said.
“There’s many things they find in Texas,” Mike Davis mentioned. “This looks like a baby and it’s very interesting.”
Folks can talk to the paleontologist and Ellie May at Meet Your Mammoth Day Saturday, November 21. Various mammoth-themed activities, readings, and trivia activities will be available for visitors.
That sounds like a mammoth of a time.