Finding the disembodied head of Rosie the Ice Age fossil in a packing crate at the Qualicum Beach Museum wasn’t the only walrus-based surprise in store for them.
If the head could have talked, it might have asked them, “How old do you think I am?”
That’s because scientists at the Canadian Museum of Nature determined the old girl was actually much younger than they first thought.
“They said she was only 60,000 years old,” local paleontologist Graham Beard said. “An earlier paper had said she was 70,000 years old, so somewhere along the way we lost 10,000 years.”
The new date, he said, had been determined by analyzing DNA from the pulp cavity of one of Rosie’s molars.
“That’s one of the best places to look for DNA,” he said. “I’m guessing they have far better techniques now than they had in 1979, when she was first analyzed.”