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Dig Dem Bones

Today's discussion and signing of Digging Snowmastodon: Discovering an Ice Age World in the Colorado Rockies, by Ian Miller and Kirk Johnson, will reveal "new dirt on the Ice Age dig," promises Miller, paleontology curator at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and one of the lead scientists on 2010's stunning Snowmastodon find. "We'll be sharing some initial scientific results and highlighting some of the stuff we've recently learned."

Miller and Johnson, the museum's chief curator, led a team of 400 people who pulled more than 5,000 large Ice Age bones out of the ground near Snowmass over the course of nine weeks in the fall of 2010 and the spring of 2011.

While the book illustrates the story of the discovery and focuses on the human side of the dig, Miller says scientists have barely be-gun processing the scientific data that Snowmastodon will yield. Even more amazing: The bones they collected represent only about 10 percent of what Miller says is "most likely the biggest paleontological dig in modern times." The rest of the fossils are still underwater at the Ziegler Reservoir (which was being excavated when the discovery was made). It will take five to ten years to process what they have so far, but Miller says he hopes to return to dig up more fossils some day.

The discussion begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Tattered Cover LoDo, 1628 16th Street. Admission is free; call 303-436-1070 for more information. A second signing will take place tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. at the Boulder Book Store, 1107 Pearl Street in Boulder; call 303-447-2074.
Wed., March 28, 7:30 p.m., 2012


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