West Schomer uses a brush and vacuum to dust Archie, a Columbian mammoth, during a 2013 cleaning at Morrill Hall.

For a mammoth fossilized under Lincoln County for the better part of 20,000 years, Archie has made a lot of strides toward a life of fame.

The largest Columbian mammoth fossil in the world and the state fossil of Nebraska, Archie is also the star of the University of Nebraska State Museum.

On Tuesday, his notoriety got a little larger, because Archie was the feature photo plastered across the front page of Bing.com.

Microsoft’s search engine service features a different photograph daily, typically one “working to maximize the surprise and delight we can get by simply taking a moment to explore our world visually,” Microsoft’s Matt Wallaert, who runs the Bing Blog, said in 2013.

A 14-foot-tall prehistoric elephant -- discovered by chickens on a Lincoln County ranch more than 90 years ago -- Archie is one of 365 images that will grace the search engine’s homepage this year.

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Mandy Haase-Thomas, public relations coordinator of the University of Nebraska State Museum, said the museum in Morrill Hall at 14th and Vine streets was pleasantly surprised the museum's mascot was the feature photo for thousands of people surfing the web.

“Someone up early doing a search on Bing sent us a note that Archie and his other fossil friends were featured,” Haase-Thomas said. “It’s a very exciting feature for us.”

Haase-Thomas said the museum will monitor its Internet traffic Tuesday to see if the Bing feature directed additional users to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln website.

A composite of the bones from four individual animals, the first fossils discovered by a rancher and his wife in 1922 were turned over to the museum for exhibit and research. Archie is the tallest mammoth mounted on exhibit in the world, and was named the state fossil in 1967.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7120 or cdunker@journalstar.com. On Twitter @ChrisDunkerLJS.


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