A Student of History

October 31, 2006

An Ice Age time capsule in MO

Filed under: Historic Preservation — John Maass @ 12:58 am

CNN has a nice story on what the article says is “an Ice Age time capsule sealed for thousands of years.”  Near Springfield, Missouri is a cave considered to be an extraordinary find. 

Remains in the cave date back at least 830,000 years and possibly over 1 million years. At some point at least 55,000 years ago, it was sealed by rocks and mud until a construction crew blasted a hole in one end while building a road in September 2001.

In one spot on the cave wall, Bear claw marks made at least 50,000 years ago by an extinct species of That animal are quite visible still, due to the soft walls.  A photo is at the website, here.  What has been found to date is amazing. 

“Just based on what was on the surface, the finds so far include mammoth and horse bones and beds clawed out of the clay by the short-faced bear, possibly while denning with cubs. Peccary tracks are the first proof that herds of the pig-like animals roamed in caves rather than just being dragged in by predators.”

There are tracks of large cats, possibly saber-toothed tigers or American lions. Foot-long shells of previously unknown turtle species stick out of a wall.

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