Interesting Headlines , August 2009

Located inside of a lava tube beneath the seafloor, a crustacean with no eyes was uncovered. The previously unknown species is just one of the headlines hitting the press during August 2009. In this article, you will also learn about the discovery of woolly mammoth remains in Michigan.

Mammoth Remains Uncovered

What’s the chance of you going to a golf course to hit a few holes and winding up finding much more than you bargain for? That’s the story of a couple that own Morrison Lake Country Club in Saranac, Michigan , located about 20 miles of Grand Rapids. The small golf course is now known as the final resting place of an ancient mammoth whose tooth, part of tusk, and a couple of bones have been uncovered.

During a round of removing weeds, a groundskeeper came upon an odd sight on the golf course that looked like “tire treads on the flat side.” Measuring nine inches long, the worker would have normally tossed his find in a rock pile, but remembering what a mammoth tooth looked like , thanks to a plaster cast of one in a former science class , he knew he had discovered a key to the past. He immediately let his employer know of the discovery, who joined him on the greens to investigate.

To learn what to do after finding a fossil on your property, a few calls were made about town, including contacts at the University of Michigan. A laboratory research specialist at U-M’s Museum of Paleontology (Scott Beld, Ph.D) proved the most helpful, who made the trip out to the golf course to investigate. The tooth is about the same size as a human head and as long as a human foot. This detail along with others, helped the paleontologist identify the mammoth as an adolescent or possibly a female specimen. He stated that the creature was the larger Columbian type (also known as the common woolly).

The find dates back 11,000 years ago and could prove profitable for the owners of the golf course to pursue an excavation. They face a dilemma with this because it would hinder their business. Perhaps, after an appraisal of the bones, they may reconsider. It’s pretty rare to find a prehistoric elephant such as the woolly mammoth in the middle of Michigan. For those who would like to catch a peek at the tooth, it has already been removed offsite for safekeeping.

Eyeless Creature Discovered

Dwelling in the Tunnel de la Atlantida , the longest submarine lava tube in the world , the eyeless crustacean is now known as “Speleonectes atlantida.” Located off the western coast of northern Africa in the Canary Islands, the discovery will certainly shed light on details concerning the evolution of an ancient group of crustaceans. At the same time, an international team of scientists and cave divers discovered two previously unknown species of annelid worms while in the cave. For more information on the creature, the journal Marine Biodiversity plans to elaborate in a special issue slated for September.