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Prehistoric mammoth site in Waco opens

Waco Mammoth Site
Baylor Univeristy Mayborn museum collection manager Anita Benedict talks about the discovery of the largest known collection of rare prehistoric Columbian mammoths bones.Rod Aydelotte / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

A site where dozens of prehistoric mammoths died in a landslide and flooding some 68,000 years ago has opened to the public in Waco, Texas.

The fossils were discovered in 1978 by two men hunting for snakes. They took one of the bones to a Baylor University museum official who identified it, triggering an archaeological dig.

Baylor and the city preserved the remains for two decades and, following a community fundraising effort, a permanent pavilion was built over the site, which opened to the public for the first time Saturday.

Visitors can observe the mammoth remains from walkways above the dirt where the fossils remain encased.

Legislation is pending to make the site a national monument and part of the National Park Service.