On October 25, 1880, workers putting in a sewer line along Fowler Ave. (now Schiller St.) just west of Wicker Park on the north side of Chicago, made an unexpected discovery. Some 13 feet down, in a layer of peat and muck, they found the tooth, a rib, and a portion of a tusk of what was then identified as a mastodon. The fossils were put on display in the mayor’s office, eventually ending up in the collections of the Chicago Academy of Sciences (the tusk is still there; it is not clear where the tooth and rib are). …

Roy Plotnick

Paleontologist, geologist, ecologist, educator. Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Website:https://sites.google.com/uic.edu/plotnick/

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