DNA could tell story of Seattle mammoth tusk

SEATTLE (AP) - The fossilized mammoth tusk discovered at a Seattle construction site will reveal its age, gender and life story, but probably not for another year. Officials at the Burke Museum say that's how long it will take scientists to dry out the water-logged and fragile tusk.

Thanks to the hints of natural history found in the dirt surrounding the tusk, scientists hope this discovery will tell them a lot about what Seattle was like before humans ever walked the shores of the Puget Sound. They carted away nearly 100 small bags of dirt containing pollen, a small beetle and plant materials along with the fossil on Feb. 14.

The exploration will go further if they can scrape some DNA from collagen fibers inside the tusk after it is allowed to harden and stabilize.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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