Just about a month ago I wrote about a mammoth tusk discovered underground in South Lake Union. If you followed the story, you know that the Burke Museum was able to dig it up and take it to be preserved. It was put on display March 8th as part of “Dino Day,” and the Burke blog has recently posted about the tusk’s journey out of hiding. In the effort to remove the tusk from the ground safely, Burke paleontologists had to cover the tusk in aluminum foil, add layers of burlap strips soaked in water and dipped in plaster, and place 2 by 4’s alongside the tusk. According to the blog, the tusk was covered in more layers of plaster on Tuesday after two core samples were removed and sent away for carbon dating, which can tell us just how old the tusk actually is.
The process of preparing the tusk for a permanent residence at the museum involves waiting for the plaster to dry while measuring the humidity with a special tool to ensure that it matches the humidity of the museum itself. Once this is confirmed, the tusk will be unwrapped and set on its way to a more steady display. You can check out a video of the tusk being removed from the ground below, and make sure to check out the mammoth’s twitter account, perhaps the most exciting development of this story.