A villager in Siberia finds 400,000-year-old steppe mammoth tusks while planting vegetables
|National Post 08 Jun 2017 at 08:30|
A resident of Oy, a village in Sakha Republic a remote Russian state was hoping to plant cabbage and potatoes when he uncovered mammoths tusks so old the species predates the woolly mammoth.
His discoveries stretch 270 cm long with a 50 cm diameter at their root, Siberian Times reports. The tusks were identified as belonging to a steppe mammoth, a species of Elephantidae (or mammoth) that last inhabited Eurasia 370,000 years ago.
Villager digs his garden and finds 400,000 year old steppe mammoth tusks https://t.co/yRrpOtsFlL pic.twitter.com/iKpE38PrO5
Paleontologists and a regional historian, Prokopiy Nagovitsyn, were called in to assess the villagers treasure. Officials estimate the tusks are about 400,000 years old.
Due to understandable reasons we are not giving the exact location and the name of the finds owner, Nagovitsyn told the Siberian Times .
The expert classified the fossils as extraordinary and their location is not being disclosed to prevent mammoth tusk poachers from raiding the site.
The Sakha Republic six time zones east of Moscow is famous for woolly mammoths, whose remains are a common find in the region.
The fossils of the steppe mammoth are an exceptional find because they predated the woolly mammoths by hundreds of thousands of years, roaming Siberia from 600,000 to 370,000 years ago. Woolly mammoths died out about 3,500 years ago.
The find has a huge scientific significance, said Nagovitsyn .
In 2015, a complete skeleton of a steppe mammoth was discovered in another town in the same Russian state.
The steppe mammoth is believed to have evolved from Mammuthus meridionalis in Siberia during the early Pleistocene era.
The species was four metres tall from the shoulders and was much larger than the woolly mammoth, which disappeared 3,500 years ago.