Mammoth Site

The Mammoth site of Hot Springs South Dakota was a lovely surprise. I was looking online for things to do around Rapid City South Dakota and stumbled onto the Mammoth site. What a treat! Gail was a little hesitant about going at first, but after arrival she changed her mind.

Check out their website.

Basically, a sink hole at the time of the ice age turned out to be a great Mammoth trap. Seems the hot springs caused a ring of grasses to grow around the sink hole which was an easy meal for hungry male Mammoths. While munching on the exposed grasses some Mammoths either slipped into the sink hole or went for a swim and could not escape. The edge of the sink hole was lined with red spearfish shale which made the side of the pond very slippery. These swimmers (either purposeful or accidental) eventually tired and drowned. This sink hole pond trapped more than 60 mammoths. It also trapped camels, a short faced bear and other animals.

That short faced bear is a scary looking dude. I wouldn’t want to run into it in a dark alley. Standing 12 feet on his back legs with a reach of 15 feet. NO THANK YOU! How on earth did Neanderthals survive?

If you are in the area, by all means, go check it out! It is an active archeological dig and is still being excavated with many volunteers helping.

Here are some pics we snapped while there.