Animal bones, possibly dating as far back as the ice age, were recently discovered beneath the Binkley Cave system in Southern Indiana.

The well-preserved collection of animal skeletons is "one of the largest and best preserved deposits of Ice Age bones yet discovered in Indiana," said Ron Richards, a chief curator at the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis.

The remains, which include the skeletons of snakes, black bear, owl and a young bison were discovered in the fall of 2010 in an uncharted cavern below Harrison County. Researchers say that even though the discovery has yet to be carbon-dated, they suspect the fossils to be between 12,000-50,000 years old.

Area paleontologists say that the discovery is extremely special because it offers science an interesting story, which is just one of the reasons why former Marengo Cave co-owner Gary Roberson is working to open that portion of the cave system up, in hopes of offering tours to the public by late May.

Incidentally, all of the bones uncovered in Harrison County are being kept in the cave in which they were found. That’s because removing the remains from their environment could destroy them beyond repair.

Scientists believe Indiana Caverns to be one of the most nationally significant cave systems in the nation.

To find out more about Indiana Caverns, click here.