Construction workers have unearthed the bones of a mammoth and other ice age mammals on the Oregon State University football field.

OSU Mammoth Bones

This is the femur of a mammoth found while crews were working on an expansion around the university's Reser Stadium. (Theresa Hogue/Oregon State University/Associated Press)

The Oregonian reports crews working on an expansion around Reser Stadium found a femur from one of the ancient elephants and bones from a bison and camel, all dating back 10,000 years.

A spokesman says the OSU archaeologist believes the 3-metre (10-foot) pit where the remains were found could have been a pond or watering hole.

OSU associate professor of anthropology Loren Davis says sick animals often went to a body of water to die.

Davis says the find isn't unusual since thousands of mammoths and other long-gone creatures once roamed the surrounding Willamette Valley.

Construction work has been moved elsewhere while experts examine the bones.

OSU Mammoth Bones

OSU associate professor of anthropology Loren Davis thinks the bones where found at what was once an ancient watering hole. Davis says the find isn't unusual since thousands of mammoths and other long-gone creatures once roamed the surrounding Willamette Valley. (Theresa Hogue/Oregon State University/Associated Press)