Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Rare mammoth discovered in Russia, entire graveyard suspected

Researchers in southern Russia have unearthed remains of a rare mammoth species. Citing local villagers’ accounts of previous bone finds, they suspect that an entire graveyard of prehistoric creatures is waiting to be found at the site.

The bones were found encased in clay near a river confluence close to the village of Verkhny Kurp in the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic of the Caucasus Mountains. They likely belonged to the southern mammoth (mammuthus meridionalis), a species that lived in Europe and Central Asia between 2.6 and 0.7 million years ago.

The archeological find was made after a river bank collapsed, researcher Viktor Kotlyarov, who studied the remains, told RT. One of the unearthed tusks remains intact thanks to its clay encasing. A meter-long fragment of another one was dragged down, exposed and quickly reduced to pieces before it could be preserved, although scientists had time to take pictures.

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