Offbeat: Bear skull believed to be hundreds or thousands of years old found after Kansas flooding - - PressFrom - Australia
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Offbeat Bear skull believed to be hundreds or thousands of years old found after Kansas flooding

10:01  21 october  2019
10:01  21 october  2019 Source:   nydailynews.com

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Experts believed the skull was preserved in the sands of the Arkansas River and displaced by this year ’s historic flooding in the region. The scientists verified that the sisters had found a bear skull that may be over 200 years old , Ashley wrote “Whether it is hundreds or thousands of years old

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Representative Image © Getty Images Representative Image Two sisters on a kayaking trip on the Arkansas River made quite the find when they came across a bear skull that could be thousands of years old.

Ashley and Erin Watt were paddling down the river in south-central Kansas in August and saw the skull sticking out of the sandbar, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism said.

Experts believe the skull was uncovered after major flooding in the region.

The sisters posted the skull photos on Facebook and the post made its way to paleontologists from the Sternberg Museum of Natural History in Hays, Kansas.

“The bear skull was washed out of the same river sediments that routinely produce the skulls and bones of the American bison, some of which could date back as far as the last Ice Age,” Mike Everhart, one of the Sternberg paleontologists who examined the skull, said.

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The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks said in a news release Ashley and Erin Watt made the discovery in August after flooding apparently dislodged the skull . It's believed to be either a modern grizzly or an older species. There are several historical accounts of grizzlies in Kansas .

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“Whether it is hundreds or thousands of years old, the skull gives us a better insight into the richness of life on the plains before Western man,” Everhart said.

The wildlife department said the fossil was most likely newer since only a few of its teeth are missing.

According to the University of Kansas, historical records show grizzlies were wiped out in the plains state in the mid-1850s as westward expansion ramped up, but the new skull would be the first physical evidence grizzlies ever called Kansas home.

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