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"Giant Bison Added to Discoveries at Tolo Lake"
Giant Bison Added To Discoveries At Tolo Lake
GRANGEVILLE, Idaho (AP) - Paleontologists studying fossils at Tolo Lake have
found evidence of an extinct giant bison in the dry lake bed and raised to six
or seven the number of mammoths discovered at the site.
But no sign had been reported by Wednesday of early man's presence at the lake
during the time of the mammoths. The giant Ice Age relatives of the elephant
stood as tall as 14 feet and weighed 10,000 to 15,000 pounds.
Scientists believe they have been extinct for about 11,000 years.
The excavation of Tolo Lake began several months ago under the lead of the Idaho
Department of Fish and Game, which owns most of the lake, and the citizen's
group Friends of Tolo Lake.
Another public tour of the lake-bottom dig is scheduled Saturday afternoon. The
National Park Service and other agencies hosted 750 or more visitors last
Work to deepen the lake and add islands for nesting waterfowl took a dramatic
turn Sept. 2 when workers found a 4 1/2-foot-long bone from a mammoth.
Later examinations showed evidence of what initially was thought to be fossils
from three or four mammoths, ranging from tusks estimated to be more than 8 feet
long to a shoulder blade as big as a coffee table.
The bison apparently was identified from a fossilized vertebrae.
"There's also still other fossils that they're coming across out there that
haven't been identified so it looks like there will be other species out there,"
Gregg Losinski, a Fish and Game spokesman in Lewiston, said Wednesday.
University of Idaho students and archaeologists and experts from state and
federal agencies have been doing most of the excavating. Idaho State Historical
Society officials have been monitoring the work.