A University of Iowa-led team announced that it has located a third mammoth at a dig site in southern Iowa.
The find comes from a scapula uncovered in early December by researchers with the UI's Museum of Natural History. The scapula is the latest in a string of discoveries including a tusk, a section of a skull, ribs, and leg bones.
After cleaning the scapula and measuring it, the paleontologists realized that it was larger than other scapula previously unearthed at the dig and thus must belong to a third mammoth. The team thinks it's likely the third mammoth is also a woolly species, although more bones will need to be analyzed to confirm.
What the researchers do know is finding three mammoths at one place is rare.
"For Iowa, this is a first," says Sarah Horgen, the museum’s education and outreach coordinator. "And, for the Midwest, there are very few sites that have three or more animals."
The research team has been working on the mammoth dig since April 2012.
The landowner of the site has asked not to be identified nor has the location of the find been released.