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Mammoth Skeleton Discovered In North Texas

DALLAS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - The skeleton of a mammoth has been discovered in North Texas - and the enormous find is being donated to the Perot Museum in Dallas.

The remains of the prehistoric creature were found on a ranch in Ellis County, and researchers say the skeleton is about 85% complete.

Navarro College Professor Tom Vance has been in on the dig since the discovery earlier this year.

The first pieces uncovered were portions of a tusk and front arm bone, "But we did not have enough (bones) at that time as far as it's identification," said Vance. "We eventually found the cranium of the animal, and were able to determine that this was a Mammoth not a Mastadon."

Dr. Ron Tykoski with the Perot Museum says that the skeleton was discovered by accident - when a rancher was digging a hole with a backhoe to sell gravel and sand to the highway department.

"This is a Columbian Mammoth, a different species from the Woolly Mammoth that most people think of" says Dr. Tykoski "it's bigger than Woolly Mammoths and probably less hairy."

The 40,000-year old beast as been named "Ellie May" according to Professor Vance because it was discovered in Ellis County in the month of May.

Dr. Tykoski and his team are headed to Ellis County this week to start the slow and careful process of removing the bones and taking them to a storage facility.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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