Transit Plumbing, Associated Press
SEATTLE — In the crowded south Lake Union neighborhood where Amazon.com workers go out for espresso, an ice age mammoth died 10,000 years ago and remained until Tuesday, when a plumbing contractor crew uncovered its tusk.
Paleontologists with the University of Washington hope to move the tusk to the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture in time for public viewing at its annual Dino Day on March 8.
It's the latest example of the state fossil: the Columbian mammoth, Mammuthus columbi.
"They are very rare," said Christian Sidor, curator of vertebrate paleontology for the museum on the Seattle campus. "It will be an exciting fossil to get back to the museum."
A Transit Plumbing employee discovered the tusk Tuesday at a construction site.
Worker Joe Wells "actually uncovered it with a shovel and sort of figured it was a tusk and stopped and contacted the general contractor," Transit Plumbing owner Jeff Estep said.
When Estep was told about the discovery, "I was going, like, 'Yeah, right.'"
It was more exciting than the time they found a jar of money someone had buried in a backyard, he said.
The Burke Museum was waiting for approval from the property owner Wednesday to excavate the site and perhaps see if there are more buried bones.
"When you start digging, you never know," Sidor said.
Millennia before Seattle was founded, prehistoric animals wandered around what is now Lake Union and the lands covered by the university and the headquarters for online retailer Amazon.com.
Construction has been constant in recent years in the South Lake Union neighborhood, which also features biotech companies and apartments and condos for thousands of workers.
Similar tusks from the extinct relative of the elephant have been found in Washington, and a tooth from a mammoth even was found at a construction site at the university.
- PacSun pulls T-shirt from shelves after...
- Lindsey Stirling reflects on global audience,...
- 'Tomorrowland' takes top spot at box office...
- The Latest on weather: Third body pulled from...
- This innovative high school program is...
- The 10 best cities in America for job seekers...
- Memorial Day 2015 photo gallery: Celebrating...
- Boy Scouts' leader says ban on gay adults not...
- Clinton: GOP threatening small-business... 19
- Ireland has voted to legalize gay... 18
- Ohio patrolman acquitted in shooting... 16
- 'Such a stress reliever': In Rhode... 13
- Gays wake up to changed Ireland, let... 12
- Family stress and poverty affect... 12
- Democrats see skimpy insurance as the... 11
- Veterans frustrated by presidential... 9