IPFW Mastodon “Donna” Travels to Michigan

The echo of mastodons once again rumbled across the Midwest on January 30th—or at least one mastodon—when Daniel Fisher, professor of paleontology and director of the Museum of Paleontology at the University of Michigan stopped by IPFW. In 1968, IPFW faculty and students from the Department of Geosciences excavated a mastodon from a pond two miles south of Angola and brought it to campus, where it has been housed ever since (read the entire saga here).

Fisher became interested in the mastodon when he visited campus in November as part of the College of Arts & Sciences’ Distinguished Lecturer Series. Now, he’s transporting the skeleton back to the University of Michigan, so that the remains can be thoroughly studied. Fisher’s examination will include carbon dating of the bones and exploring possible causes of death, which could expand knowledge about the life and times of mastodons in the Midwest.

If you are interested in learning more about our mastodon and why she’s so special, you can read about the temporary transfer via WANE.com, which was also shared via The Washington Times and The Chicago Tribune.

Local newspapers, the News-Sentinel and Journal Gazette, published longer articles, “Expert Hopes Study of IPFW’s Mastodon Skeleton Yields Clues about What Cause the Death of the Species” and “Mastodon to Michigan: Paleontologist to Borrow Bones from IPFW for a Year,” which provided more information on the mastodon’s origins and Fisher’s research.

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