Studying Ancient Giants: Journey into the Paleontological Wonders of Waco Mammoth National Monument

Studying Ancient Giants: Journey into the Paleontological Wonders of Waco Mammoth National Monument

Hi everyone! My name is Briana Alyce Salcido, and I am thrilled to connect with you all from the lovely city of Waco, TX. This summer, I have the incredible opportunity to work as a Paleontology Assistant at the Waco Mammoth National Monument, and I couldn’t be more excited about it!

Originally hailing from El Paso, TX, I recently completed my educational journey at The University of Texas at El Paso, where I obtained a Master of Science degree in Environmental Science. My academic pursuits have always been driven by a deep passion for understanding and preserving our natural world.

During my time at the university, I had the privilege of studying various aspects of environmental science, but my fascination with paleontology truly captured my heart. The opportunity to work at Waco Mammoth National Monument is a dream come true for me. I am thrilled to be part of a team that is dedicated to unearthing and preserving the rich paleontological history of this area.

While I am away from my loved ones back in El Paso, I must admit that the change in scenery has been refreshing. Central Texas has its own unique charm, and I am eager to explore the region and immerse myself in its natural wonders.

The Waco Mammoth National Monument holds immense scientific and historical significance as it showcases the preserved remains of a herd of Columbian mammoths that inhabited the area approximately 65,000 to 72,000 years ago. Unearthed in 1978 after two young individuals stumbled upon a significant bone while strolling near the Bosque River, subsequent excavations unveiled multiple mammoth skeletons. This discovery revealed one of the world’s largest concentrations of mammoth remains. Notably, the monument is one of only eight exclusive sites in the United States where visitors can witness fossil remains in situ, meaning they are conserved in their original position within the bone bed.

Mammoth Q, the only adult male mammoth found at the site
Working on conservation of "Mammoth Q" which is the adult male mammoth located inside of the Dig Shelter
Fossil Conservation in Dig Shelter

Through this blog, I hope to share my experiences, discoveries, and insights as a Paleontology Assistant at Waco Mammoth National Monument. Join me on this journey as we delve into the mysteries of the past and uncover the incredible stories that lie within the fossil record.

Thank you for joining me, and I look forward to embarking on this adventure together!

Stay tuned for exciting updates and fascinating discoveries.

Warm regards, 

Briana Alyce Salcido

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