Long, long ago ...

Wednesday, May 7, 2003

Two-year-old Trae Koetter displays the partial mastodont jawbone and attached tooth his grandfather, Joe Koetter of rural McCook, discovered when a creek bed sloughed away recently. The elder Koetter contacted George Corner of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Museum who said the specimen is undoubtedly out of Ogallala sediments and may be eight to 13 million years old. Corner said the mastodont may be one of three genera -- Amebelodon, Megabelodon or Gomphotherium -- but that is impossible to determine without the front of the jaw and the lower tusks. Joe Koetter preserved the jawbone with a special shellac mixture and plans to loan it to the Museum of the High Plains in McCook.

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