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Marshalls Creek Mastodon

Marshalls Creek Mastodon

Peat Bog

Peat Bog Near Marshalls Creek, PA

Dredging the Bog

While dredging the bog a bone was found

Spreading the peat to dry

Peat is spread out to dry. Bones of the mastodon were found

Dredging continues

Plans are made to find the rest of the mastodon. Planks are put down so dredge can get close to bog.

Placing cylinder

A large cylinder is placed in the bog to locate the bones.

Removing water from cylinder

Water and mud is removed to find mastodon bones.

Building dam around bones

Once bones were found a dam was built around area.

Plastic and plywood make the dam

Plastic was put over plywood dam to keep water out.

Reinforcing the walls of the dam

Mud and dirt were used to reinforce the walls of dam.

Pumping out the water

The water was then pumped out of the enclosed area.

Diggin out the mud and peat

Mud and peat are dug out to get close to the bones.

Mastodon bone

Digging down to the mastodon bones.

Digging out the bones

Digging out the mastodon bones.

Removing the jaw bone

Lifting the heavy mastodon jaw out of the bog.

Preparing the jaw bone

Bones are prepared first by a coating of gum arabic.

Working on the teeth

Scott toilet tissue is then placed over the teeth and coated  with gum Arabic again.

Coating jaw bone with plaster

Lastly, the bones are completely coated with thin strips of burlap soaked in plaster of paris.

Dam was flooded by a big storm

A big storm destroyed the dam. Amazingly, all the bones had been retrieved and no one was hurt. The bones were shipped to the Pennsylvania State Museum.

Back in the museum

Back at the museum taking the plaster jacket off the bones.

Removing plaster

After bones arrived at the Pennsylvania State Museum their plaster jacket is cut off and any debris is removed.

Working on the teeth

Dr. Alton Murray working on the mastodon teeth.

Full skelleton

Mastodon mounted at the Pennsylvania State Museum.

Newspaper article

Newspaper account of the mastodon discovery.

The End

Permission to use pictures granted by Dr. Arlton Murray.

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