What do you do when you find a mammoth molar? | KUOW News and Information

What do you do when you find a mammoth molar?

May 25, 2017

A molar from a mammoth estimated to be at least 19,000 years old was found on a public beach in Sequim, Washington. 

Sequim resident Lori Christie was walking with her boyfriend, Dean Flowers, when they came across the discovery last month. The couple had an idea of what it was, thanks to their previous trip to a mammoth exhibit.

“My boyfriend, he knew what it was right away,” Christie said. “I didn’t recognize it before he did. I knew it was a fossil. I knew that is was something prehistoric. I just wasn’t sure if it was a tooth.”

They hid it under some driftwood and came back for it the next day, after doing their research. Then they took it to the Burke Museum at the University of Washington where a collections manager confirmed the finding.

Christie described it as an 11 pound, dark, rigged rock shaped almost like a big molar.

“It’s a Columbian mammoth molar,” Christie said. “We thought it was maybe woolly because we went to a woolly exhibit. We didn’t know.”

So what do you even do with a mammoth molar?

Christie plans to lend it out to different museums. The first place on her list is the Museum and Arts Center in Sequim. For now, she’s putting the molar through the process of desalination and preserving it. 

She works for JACE Real Estate and lives by the Manis Mastodon Site, where previous fossils have been found.