The skull is believed to have been preserved in the sands of the river until it was displaced by important flooding this calendar year.
Ashley and Erin Watt have been kayaking down the river in south-central Kansas in August when they noticed the cranium protruding from a sandbar, the Kansas Office of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism explained. When they pulled it out, they saw the skull had substantial tooth, some the diameter of a human thumb.
The sisters posted the locate on Fb, where it drew the awareness of a wildlife section activity warden. He shared the images with paleontologists from the Sternberg Museum of Organic Historical past in Hays, Kansas.
The skull is about 16 inches very long and 8.5 inches large and has a fossilized overall look, which led the paleontologists to ponder no matter if it was from a modern-day grizzly or a extra primitive species, the wildlife department claimed.
“The bear skull was washed out of the similar river sediments that routinely deliver the skulls and bones of the American bison, some of which could day again as considerably as the previous Ice Age,” said Mike Everhart, a person of the Sternberg paleontologists who examined the skull.
“Whether or not it is hundreds or hundreds of yrs aged, the skull gives us a much better insight into the richness of existence on the plains just before Western gentleman,” Everhart said.
The most likely circumstance is that the skull is from a much more modern-day species, the wildlife department explained, based on the exceptional ailment with only a couple minimal teeth missing.
If it really is verified to be a grizzly cranium, it would be the to start with actual physical proof of the animal in the condition, in accordance to the College of Kansas. Historical studies counsel the animal was prevalent, specially in places close to rivers, streams and nearby ridges, but the species was wiped out in Kansas in the mid-1800s, the university and wildlife office explained.
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