When I started to work at The Manitoba Museum in 1993, I discovered this intriguing correspondence in the “deep files,” inherited from the old Manitoba Museum:
Today I was digging a hole along the edge of a slough. After digging through four feet of peat, I came upon this tooth. Two inches below the tooth was a thin layer of white sand.
Could you tell me what kind of animal this tooth is from?
Thank you for the information.
There is a sketch of a squarish tooth in pencil on the letter, and a note that it was a “very dark brown specimen.” It looks like a bison tooth to me, and apparently the Museum staff wrote back to that effect. They must have also expressed an interest in visiting the site, as indicated by the second letter:
I received your letter concerning the tooth.
The hole which I found the tooth in was dug to bury a fairly large pig. The hole was about 4 1/2 feet deep, the tooth was about 4 feet from the surface. … I found the tooth along the side of the hole, I dug around the tooth but there was no sign of any other tooth or bone of any kind. After a good look for others, we buried the pig in the hole and filled it in.
You are welcome to come to investigate any time, if you still wish to under these circumstances.
There is no note in the file on whether Museum staff visited the site. One suspects that they were not able to find the time to do so.