Fossilized Mammoth Unearthed In Mexico, Creature Stood 17 Feet Tall And Weighed 10 Tons
The discovery of an intact skeleton of a mammoth in Mexico City has archaeologists trumpeting the good news. Excavators say they are sure the find the skeleton is from one mammal, which makes the discovery one of the most complete mammoth skeletons found in Mexico.
The mammoth, which McClatchy newsgroup reports as 70 percent excavated, stood 16 or 17 feet (3 meters) tall and weighed 10 tons.
The Colombian mammoth (Mammuthus columbi) was native to what is now the United States and Central America. Remains of the mammoths have been uncovered in Texas and as far west as the La Brea Tar Pits in California and a complete skeleton is the main attraction at the Regional Museum of Guadalajara.
Archaeologists uncovered the remains in the mountainous outskirts of Mexico City in the village of Santa Ana Tlacotenco, which at a height about 8,000 feet above sea level, is an altitude the mammoths were not previously believed to have roamed. Experts say the creature may have been searching for food or a mate to have wandered so far upland.
Finding mammoth remains is fairly common, but an intact skeleton is of great scientific interest because it allows for a more complete study of the animal.
The beast may have met its end some 10,000 to 12,000 years ago by being suffocated by volcanic ash after an eruption of the nearby San Miguel volcano, one of the excavators said in a video published by The Guardian.
In May of last year well-preserved remains of a Colombian mammoth were found in the Mexican state of Queretaro.
The Colombian mammoth was not quite as large as the fabled woolly mammoth.