What will we see at the Monument?
In our Dig Shelter, you will see the in situ fossil remains of six Columbian mammoths and a few other Ice Age animals.
Do you have a group rate?
Yes! Groups of 20 or more qualify for a dollar discount per person.
Are you handicapped-accessible?
Yes. Our entire facility is accessible via wheelchair and motorized scooter. If a member of your party needs assistance making the 300 yard walk, we have wheelchairs available, and our tour guides can carry up to three people in a golf cart, if necessary.
Can we dig at your site?
No. Fossils are protected throughout the entire site and personal collecting is prohibited. Though you cannot dig for fossils (or explore for more) within the Monument, you can practice your excavation skills in our Excavation Station!
Is this inside or outside?
About 10-15 minutes of your guided tour will take place outdoors. The remaining 20-30 minutes of your tour will take place in our climate controlled Dig Shelter.
Are these dinosaur bones?
No. Dinosaurs went extinct over 65 million years ago. The Waco mammoths were here approximately 67,000 ago.
Can we eat at the park?
Yes. Feel free to bring your own food and drinks to enjoy in our shaded picnic area before or after your scheduled program. Please note that food and beverages are not allowed inside the Dig Shelter.
Can we camp at the park?
No. The closest camp grounds can be found at Lake Waco.
What is a Columbian mammoth?
- Mammoths originated in the Old World and entered North America 1.8 million years ago. The Columbian mammoth (Mammuthus columbi) is descended from these early immigrants and lived during the Pleistocene Epoch before becoming extinct about 10,000 years ago.
- The Columbian mammoth was one of the largest mammals to have lived during the Pleistocene Epoch. Other Ice Age animals that lived during this time included giant ground sloths, short-faced bears, saber-toothed cats, and giant beavers.
- The Columbian mammoth is a distant relative of the woolly mammoth, but woolly mammoths lived farther north in much colder regions.
- Columbian mammoths grew to more than 14 feet in height at the shoulder and weighed up to 10 tons (20,000 pounds). They stood two to four feet taller and weighed up to 8,000 pounds more than woolly mammoths.
- Columbian mammoths share many similar characteristics with our modern day elephants of Asia and Africa. Some of these features include having four teeth, one above and below on each side of the skull and jaw. Mammoths had six sets of teeth during their lifetimes, which could span up to 75 years. The mammoth's tusks are modified incisor teeth and grew as long as 16 feet, weighing up to 200 pounds each. Columbian mammoths walked on their tiptoes, an internal sponge-like pad behind the bones of their feet cushioned their immense weight.
- Mammoths probably spent up to 20 hours a day eating between 300 to 700 pounds of grass and other plants. As a result, mammoths produced around 400 pounds of dung daily.