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Re: Horned diggers/Lakota legend



On Mar 23, 2007, at 5:25 AM, Steve White wrote:

Having just seen Ice Age 2, Dann's comments on horned diggers reminded me of Epigaulus and Ceratogaulus - the horned gophers. Weren't they discovered with spiral burrows (devil's corkscrews)?


The burrowing horned gophers of the Pliocene (Epigualus hatcheri) are different from the Miocene burrowing beaver (Palaeocastor), which created the spiral structures that the early paleontologists at Agate Springs Fossil Beds named Devil's Corkscrews (Daemohelix).


The "forests" of Devil's Corkscrews, ranging from southern South Dakota and Northern Nebraska to Lusk, Wyoming, perplexed the scientists, who initially thought they were the trace fossils of the giant roots of some unknown tree.

Meanwhile, long before the paleo teams began digging the abundant fossils at Agate Springs, the Lakota named the dense bone deposits at Carnegie Hill "Animal Bones Brutally Scattered About." And the Lakota had already accurately identified the spiral formations as the burrows of long extinct beavers, noting that they were different from living beavers who made lodges in water. The ancient Lakota name for Devil's Corkscrew was "Beaver's Lodge."