Mammoths, mastodons roamed prehistoric Lowcountry

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On a recent trip to Alaska, every port town we visited had stores proudly displaying 3-to-5-foot-long fossilized woolly mammoth tusks, huge perfectly preserved mammoth teeth and even some complete jaws. Having studied and taught geology for more than half of my life, I was in heaven. I was and am that girl who comes home with pockets full of rocks and fossils, no matter where I go. 

Toni Reale | File Photo

Seeing these mammoth fossils reminded me of a lesser-known fact that in 2014, thanks to the tenacity of then third-grader Olivia McConnell, South Carolina adopted the Columbian mammoth (Mammuthus columbi) as the official state fossil. Prior to this time, South Carolina was one of only a handful of states that didn’t have a state fossil. McConnell wrote legislators stating that one of the earliest discoveries of this fossil was by slaves on a South Carolina…

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