OSU anthropology Professor Loren Davis shows off the mammoth femur bone Friday during the lunch break at the university’s Board of Trustees meeting at the Memorial Union.

James Day, Corvallis Gazette-Times

The world-famous Oregon State University mammoth femur made a surprise visit to Friday’s meeting of OSU's Board of Trustees at the Memorial Union.

Anthropology professor Loren Davis, the lead researcher working on the big bone, wheeled it into a lounge area adjacent to the Horizon Room, where the trustees were meeting.

“I really was hoping that you would find that this was, in fact, an ancient beaver,” said President Ed Ray, as trustees and OSU staffers crowded around the 10,000-year-old leg bones.

Pat Reser, chair of the board, went so far as to suggest changing the school mascot to the Woolly Beavers.

Davis told the trustees that the mammoth was probably 15 feet tall, weighed 12 tons and ate the equivalent of 4,000 hot dogs per day.

“We have the opportunity to learn about the past right beneath our feet,” Davis said.

Ray asked Davis if there was any sonar or other device the researchers could use to see if there were other such fossils on campus.

“I don’t have the equipment,” Davis said. “It costs $100,000. Let’s talk.”

— James Day

Contact reporter James Day at or 541-758-9542. Follow at or



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