Mastodon bones unearthed in Daytona construction site

December 9, 2011 by  

Workers digging along a construction site near the intersection of Mason Avenue and Nova Road in Daytona Beach, Florida have recently uncovered mastodon bones remaining from the Ice Age. According to James Zacharias, a curator at the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach, the area around Nova Road may be full of fossils left from the Ice Age as a half-built retention pond in that area is filled with muck that cuts off oxygen from getting below the surface and thereby serves to prevent decay and entomb whatever lies there. Poster printing has been used to create posters and flyers warning people to be careful as they walk up and down the road so as not to disturb the potential wealth of fossils and skeletons that may be underground.

Once workers reached the 10-foot level in the retention pond, they found additional bone fragments along with the mastodon jaw. Volunteers from the Museum of Arts and Sciences and amateur palaeontologists have since been allowed to investigate the area and have found remains almost every day they have spent there. Among their findings include the two tusks of the mastodon’s jaw, parts of the skull, vertebrae, ribs and teeth, part of a leg bone and other fragments of bone which they have yet to identify.

Russell Brown, president of the Florida Fossil Hunters group based in Orlando, claims that Florida is a state with a rich fossil layer due to the muck that fills many natural springs and swampy areas. The existence of this muck has been able to preserve pieces of history that might have otherwise disappeared many tens of thousands of years ago, palaeontology experts claim.