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Workers unearth 10,000-year-old mammoth tusk in US mine

Workers unearth 10,000-year-old mammoth tusk in US mine

Workers in a coal mine in North Dakota, USA, have made a very unexpected discovery: a 2.1 meter long mammoth tusk that had been buried for thousands of years.

At the Independence Mine near Beulah, miners unearthed the quarry from an ancient river bed about 40 feet (12.1 meters) deep.


So, when the prey was found, the teams stopped digging in the area and called in the experts. Scientists from the North Dakota Geological Survey estimate the find to be 10,000 to 100,000 years old.

Later, more bones were found in other excavations near the original discovery site. In total, more than 20 bones were found, including a shoulder blade, ribs, a tooth and parts of a mammoth's pelvis.

Mammoth finds are rare

The bones found were from a woolly mammoth. It is the last species of mammoth adapted to the northern parts of the planet. Compared to other species of the genus Mammuthus, these woolly mammoths were moderate-sized animals, about 3.2 meters tall, similar to the current African elephant.


The woolly mammoth lived alongside humans, who hunted them for food. Additionally, humans used their bones and tusks to create tools, dwellings, and art (medals).

Woolly mammoths began to disappear around 10,000 BC, and an isolated population lived on São Paulo Island (USA) and Wrangel Island (Russia) until 5,600 BC. They died in 2000 BC

Mammoths lived in North Dakota during the Pleistocene era, commonly known as the Ice Age. In this area, extinction occurred about 10,000 years ago.


Mining discovery is extremely rare in North Dakota and the region. Many records were lost due to the movement of glaciers and ice sheets during the last ice age, he explained. Associated Press Paul Ullman, a paleontologist at the University of North Dakota

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Now, the company that owns the mining company where the bones were found is donating the bones to the government for educational purposes. The idea is that the model will serve as a study to provide more details about Ice Age life in the region.