Viewers like you help make PBS (Thank you 😃) . Support your local PBS Member Station here: https://to.pbs.org/DonateEONS
In the late 1800s, paleontologists in Nebraska found huge coils of hardened sand stuck deep in the earth. Local ranchers called them Devil’s Corkscrews and scientists called them Daemonelix. It was clear these corkscrews were created by some form of life, but what?
Thanks to Julio Lacerda and Studio 252mya for the corkscrew illustrations. You can find more of Julio’s work here: https://252mya.com/gallery/julio-lacerda
Produced in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios: http://youtube.com/pbsdigitalstudios
Want to follow Eons elsewhere on the internet?
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/eonsshow
Twitter – https://twitter.com/eonsshow
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/eonsshow/
Osborn, H. F. (1921). The age of mammals in Europe, Asia and North America. Macmillan.
Woodburne, M. (Ed.). (2004). Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic mammals of North America: biostratigraphy and geochronology. Columbia University Press.
Darwin, C. (1859). On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. London.
Barbour, E.H. 1886. Notice of new gigantic fossils.
Barbour, E.H. 1894. Additional Notes on the new fossil daimonelix. Its mode of occurrence, its gross and minute structure. University of Nebraska Studies, vol 2(1) pp 1-14. https://books.google.com/books?id=F8gDAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA124&dq=%22university+studies%22+the+university+of+nebraska+volume+I+1892&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiIp8uK9K3YAhUHHGMKHc8bCZkQ6AEILjAB#v=onepage&q=%22university%20studies%22%20the%20university%20of%20nebraska%20volume%20I%201892&f=false
Martin, L. D., & Bennett, D. K. (1977). The burrows of the Miocene beaver Palaeocastor, western Nebraska, USA. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 22(3), 173-193.
Meyer, R. C. (1999). Helical burrows as a palaeoclimate response: Daimonelix by Palaeocastor. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 147(3), 291-298. http://www.sciencedirect.com.ezp.lib.cwu.edu/science/article/pii/S0031018298001576
Joeckel, R. M., & Tucker, S. T. (2013). Exceptionally well preserved latest Miocene (Hemphillian) rodent burrows from the eastern Great Plains, United States, and a review of the burrows of North American rodents. Palaios, 28(11), 793-824. http://digital.bl.fcen.uba.ar/Download/paper/paper_15507424_v58_n1_p51_Arias.pdf
Mansfield, W. C. (1927). Some peculiar fossil forms from Maryland. Proceedings of the United States National Museum. https://repository.si.edu/bitstream/handle/10088/15739/1/USNMP-71_2688_1927.pdf
Holman, J. A. (1981). A herpetofauna from an eastern extension of the Harrison Formation (early Miocene: Arikareean), Cherry County, Nebraska. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 1(1), 49-56.
Lugn, A. L. (1941). The origin of Daemonelix. The Journal of Geology, 49(7), 673-696. http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1366&context=geosciencefacpub
Retallack, G. J. (1997). Neogene expansion of the North American prairie. Palaios, 12(4), 380-390.
Hunt, R. M. (1990). Taphonomy and sedimentology of Arikaree (lower Miocene) fluvial, eolian, and lacustrine paleoenvironments, Nebraska and Wyoming; a paleobiota entombed in fine-grained volcaniclastic rocks. Geological Society of America Special Papers, 244, 69-112.
Samuels, J. X., & Valkenburgh, B. V. (2009). Craniodental adaptations for digging in extinct burrowing beavers. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 29(1), 254-268. Craniodental adaptations for digging in extinct burrowing beavers