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Sand and Bone

Sand and Bone

Go along with a band of UNLV researchers as they uncover the skull of an extinct elephant-like creature that once roamed Esmeralda County.

Research | Apr 7, 2014
  • "The Sump" sits in the shadow of Nevada's highest point, Boundary Peak.

    "The Sump" sits in the shadow of Nevada's highest point, Boundary Peak.

  • Professor Stephen Rowland goes over a map with undergraduate student Andrew Rigney.

    Professor Stephen Rowland goes over a map with undergraduate student Andrew Rigney.

  • Visiting professor Joshua Bonde looks over a fossil believed to be the skull of a Gomphothere, which lived 12-16 million years ago.

    Visiting professor Joshua Bonde looks over a fossil believed to be the skull of a Gomphothere, which lived 12-16 million years ago.

  • A solution is applied to keep bone fragments in place for transportation.

    A solution is applied to keep bone fragments in place for transportation.

  • Undergraduate Andrew Rigney works on the fossil under the watchful eye of professor Steve Rowland.

    Undergraduate Andrew Rigney works on the fossil under the watchful eye of professor Steve Rowland.

  • From left, visiting professor Joshua Bonde helps undergraduate students Andrew Rigney, Chelsy Salas, and Oscar Vazquez apply a plaster jacket to protect the fossil.

    From left, visiting professor Joshua Bonde helps undergraduate students Andrew Rigney, Chelsy Salas, and Oscar Vazquez apply a plaster jacket to protect the fossil.

  • Undergraduate student Andrew Rigney picks up "float," or small bones and teeth, as the team searches for more remnants of a time gone by.

    Undergraduate student Andrew Rigney picks up "float," or small bones and teeth, as the team searches for more remnants of a time gone by.

  • The team also found teeth from beaver and pieces of camel bone.

    The team also found teeth from beaver and pieces of camel bone.

  • Graduate student Fabian Hardy.

    Graduate student Fabian Hardy.

  • The skull is taken back to camp. It will be further studied at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum.

    The skull is taken back to camp. It will be further studied at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum.

  • The five-day dig ended each evening around the campfire.

    The five-day dig ended each evening around the campfire.

  • Graduate student Fabian Hardy tries his luck with the stars.

    Graduate student Fabian Hardy tries his luck with the stars.

  • UNLV researchers exploring Esmeralda County during the day.
  • UNLV researchers sitting by a fire at night in Esmeralda County.
  • UNLV researcher looking at the stars with camera in Esmeralda County.

Go along with a band of UNLV researchers as they uncover the skull of an extinct elephant-like creature that once roamed Esmeralda County. Photos by Aaron Mayes/UNLV Photo Services. Full story: Photojournal: The Belly of the Sump

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