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700-Year-Old Bison Skeleton at Marble Falls Museum On Its Way to Completion

This 700-year-old bison skull is on display at the Falls on the Colorado Museum in Marble Falls.

MARBLE FALLS — Rockie, a 700-year-old bison skeleton, is taking her next step toward total preservation, especially now that she will have her forelegs.

The bison’s skull has been on display at the Falls on the Colorado Museum in Marble Falls since June. It was loaned to the museum by Ryan Murray, who discovered the remains of the ancient animal in 2013 on his parents’ property near Rocky Creek in the Briggs area. Murray was on the way to his favorite fishing hole when he spotted a “small bone the size of a cigarette.”

“I started digging and realized it was big,” he told The Picayune in June. “As I dug, the more I realized there was more to it.”

He took some of the smaller bones to experts at the University of Texas at Austin, who identified the species and calculated the age, weight (1,300-1,800 pounds), and gender of his find.

Murray eventually contacted David Calame, an avocational archeologist, who led crews in May 2014 in the recovery of the skeleton.

Several boxes of the bison’s bones have been sent to Ken Bader, who will be the museum’s independent consultant for further processing, stabilization, and reconstruction. Upon initial evaluation, Bader said Rockie’s bones were in remarkable condition, given her age.

As Bader continues the stabilization process, the museum will be raising money to cover the costs with plans to display Rockie either upright — if her forelegs can support her skull — or horizontally as she was found in Rocky Creek.

To donate to this project, mail checks to the 501(c)(3) nonprofit museum at P.O. Box 1333, Marble Falls, TX 78654. A thank-you letter will be sent to donors to be used for tax purposes.

To view Rockie and other local history exhibits, visit the museum 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday-Saturday at 2001 Broadway St. in Marble Falls. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.

For more information about the museum, go to or call (830) 798-2157.

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Inquisitive Minds —
How old is Rockie?
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