Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Elephant Rusks in Vermont

Below is an article from Country Gentleman ©1865 Vol.26

The Tusk of an Elephant found in Brattleboro'
The tusk of a fossile elephant was found in a muck bed about five feet below the surface, on the farm of D. S. Pratt, in this town, on Saturday, Sept. 2, by a workman who was digging muck. The tusk is 44 inches in length, and 18 inches in circumference at the largest end, and 11 inches at the smallest. It is in a fair state of preservation, although some parts of it crumbled after being exposed to the air. The workman on discovering it took a piece to Mr. Pratt, remarking as he handed it to him. that he had found a curious piece of wood. Mr. Pratt on looking at it discovered its true nature. This tusk belonged to a species of elephant long since extinct, supposed to be the Elephas Primogenius (or mamir»th) Bhimeitback, that inhabited the northern parts of North America, having wandered across the Siberian plains to the Arctic Ocean and Behring Straits and beyond to this country south to about the parallel of 40°. Their bones show them to have been about twice the weight and one-third taller than our modern species.

The remains, (tusks, teeth, and several bones.) of one of these elephants were found at the summit of the Green Mountains, at Mount Holly, in 1848, by workmen engaged in building the railroad from Bellows Falls to Rutland. These remains were found in a muck-bed, 11 feet below the surface and at an elevation of 1415 feet above tide water. Most of the bones found, including a molar tooth, were taken by the workmen and others and carried out of the State. The most perfect tusk was secured by Prof. Zadock Thompson and is lodged in the State Cabinet at Montpelier. This tusk was 80 inches long and four inches in diameter. The molar tooth, now in possession of Prof. Agassiz, weighs 8 pounds and presents a grinding surface of 8 inches long and 4 broad. A plaster cast of it is on exhibition with the tusk at our State Cabinet.

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