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Woolly Mammoths in N.H.? Yes!

WoolyMammothToothPSU714_006.JPG
Bruce Lyndes
/
Plymouth State University
Dr. Fred Prince and the woolly mammoth tooth.

While woolly mammoth specimens have been discovered in Vermont and Maine, there's never been a confirmed finding in New Hampshire.  Until now.  NHPR's Sean Hurley has more.

In 2004, PSU Biology Professor Fred Prince was out hunting arrowheads in Campton when he found - and unkowingly discarded - a woolly mammoth tooth.  When he learned of his mistake a decade later, he vowed to find another and in April of this year, in an old gravel pit in Thornton, he got lucky.

"The specimen was just sticking above the surface of the ground." 

Prince took photos and sent them off to woolly mammoth expert Dr. Larry Agenbroad.

"He was right back in touch and was really enthusiastic confirming that it was Woolly Mammoth.  It's kind of unique, it's the first finding in New Hampshire."

And while the find is the first of its kind, Prince says it doesn't mean that mammoth hunters will soon descend on the White Mountains.

For now, as he prepares to send off samples to be dated, he's keeping the tooth safe. 

When it dries it crumbles so I have it in a moist towel in a box right behind my Labatt's Blue in the refrigerator. 

Sean Hurley lives in Thornton with his wife Lois and his son Sam. An award-winning playwright and radio journalist, his fictional “Atoms, Motion & the Void” podcast has aired nationally on NPR and Sirius & XM Satellite radio. When he isn't writing stories or performing on stage, he likes to run in the White Mountains. He can be reached at shurley@nhpr.org.

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