Marcia Morgan and Marge ... spent the better part of two days fighting rising water to plaster jacket a mastodon mandible and a 60-inch tusk. First, the tusk was given a mud wrap, then aluminum foil, then several coats of plaster of Paris. The cast then had to "set" for 24 hours before being flipped over for removal.
Jason Cantos and the second tusk, which is 7-8 feet long.
The tip of the iceberg.
After a layer of mud and aluminum foil comes a layer of newspaper...The tusk was jacketed by Mark Cantos, and Chris & Sheila McQuade.
Followed by another layer of aluminum foil...
Followed by the first of three layers of plaster. The final layer will have two-by-fours wrapped within the jacket for more strenth and stability.
This is the base of Tusk Number 3, as it looked when the water was higher.
The soda can is sitting at the base Tusk Number 3, and the water is now much lower. However, the tip of the tusk is still facing straight down into the water table. It will be more difficult to get the plaster to set if it's damp.
Tusk Number 3 with tip leading straight down into the water table.
The temperature during the January week we were trying to remove the tusks got down to 26 degrees. Remember, we're in Florida! Prolonged cold snaps may have been one of the factors that drove animals such as mastodons to extinction. If the vegetation mastodons depended on was wiped out, starvation was inevitable. This young Royal Poinciana tree was in our front yard. We ran the sprinklers all night to offset the temperatures, but forgot that it does no good under windy conditions.
Rhys ... came across a small mammoth tusk with a lot of wear. Length: approximately 10 inches.
Juvenile mammoth tusk.
Mammoth tusk with possible pathology. Of two tusks found in association with each other, one was nearly ten feet long and "normal" looking. This one was 1-1/2 feet long and the rings are way off center.