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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."