A nearly complete skeleton of a mammoth that died 20,000 to
40,000 years ago is pictured near Dallas,Texas in this
undated handout photo obtained by Reuters.
A North Texas family, who discovered the skeleton of a
20,000- to 40,000-year-old mammoth while mining through
sediment on their farm, is preparing to turn over the remains
to a local museum.
In May, Wayne McEwen and his family were gathering material
from a gravel pit on their property, south of Dallas, when
his son struck a 6-foot (1.8 meter) tusk while operating an
The rest of the near-complete skeleton was unearthed by a
team from a nearby community college, who determined it was a
Columbian mammoth - a slightly larger, less hairy version of
the more famous woolly mammoth.
The family decided to donate the remains to the Perot Museum
of Nature and Science in Dallas.
Ron Tykoski, a paleontologist with the museum who is working
with a team to prepare the specimen for transport, said the
remains are missing a few leg bones but are mostly intact.
"We get a lot of mammoth fossils in Texas but it's usually a
tooth here, a tusk there or a piece of jaw," Tykoski said on
"This is unusual. It looks like it just laid down and died."
There is no sign the carcass was disturbed by scavengers,
likely because flood waters covered it with silt shortly
after its death, he said.
The mammoth is believed to be a female because of its small
size, the length of the tusks and the flare of the pelvic
The animal was approximately 8-9 feet (2.4-2.7 meters) tall
at the shoulder, or similar in size to a modern-day female
"It needed to stay in North Texas where the local communities
can enjoy it for a long time to come," McEwen said in a news