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Excavation of Ice Age sinkhole packed with fossils starts next week

Ice Age fossils among those to be studied during excavation of ancient Wyoming sinkhole
By: Shane McGlaun | Science, Space & Robotics News | Posted: Jul 25, 2014 2:06 pm

Scientists are set to begin excavations at a sinkhole in Wyoming that holds the fossilized remains of some animals that lived during the Ice Age. The cavern holds the skeletons of mammoths and dire wolves that are said to be preserved in unusually good condition.




This excavation will mark the first exploration of Natural Trap Cave in Wyoming since it was discovered in the 1970's. The cavern is 85-feet deep and formed a natural repository for fossil records dating back 100,000 years.


The cave was formed when the limestone bedrock at the foot of the Bighorn Mountains collapsed. Over the years, thousands of animals fell into the 15-foot wide mouth of the cave that would have been concealed by vegetation. The cave is 120-feet wide at the base and is cold and damp helping to preserve the fossils.


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