Dallas man unearths bison bones in backyard

Bison bones

Credit: WFAA

Ruben Marroquin discovered the bones of an adult bison in his Oak Cliff backyard as he was rebuilding his swimming pool.



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Posted on June 26, 2012 at 10:03 PM

Updated Sunday, Nov 24 at 4:30 PM

Bison bones discovery

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DALLAS — Ever since Ruben Marroquin was a boy growing up in Mexico, he's lived in the moment by searching for the past.

"Since I was a kid I was interested in looking for things... buried things,” he said.

Things like arrowheads he found behind his home in Oak Cliff.

"To me it's amazing, because I can transport myself and think about it,” he said.

And Marroquin has never stopped looking.

In fact, recently, he was updating his swimming pool and had to relocate some utility lines. So he got out his metal detector and discovered a little more than he bargained for.

"I start digging here and I see a few bones here. I said, 'It's probably a dog, or something.’”

But it turned out to be much bigger than that — this was something with large, intact teeth and big set of horns.

An anthropologist at Texas A&M confirms this is an adult — maybe female, possibly prehistoric — bison.

It's likely the animal drank in nearby Coombs Creek and was buried in the mud during a flood.

So why is Marroquin so interested in finding things?

"I don't know. Curious. I'm a curious person, I guess," he said. "A lot of things are very interesting if you pay attention to them."

If his find proves to be significant, Marroquin hopes anthropology students will come help dig it out. If not, he says, he'll do the job himself.

After all, there's nothing Ruben Marroquin would rather do today than unearth a little bit of yesterday.

E-mail dschechter@wfaa.com