It’s not actually that rare for building work to unearth objects from the past, but as discoveries come, this one is big. The whole skull of a 10,000-year-old mammoth has been discovered on a building site in Mexico, together with part of the animal’s monumental skeleton. It was found in El Ejido San Rafael in the city of Galean, a rural area of north east Mexico.
The Columbian Mammoth is an extinct species of mammoth that existed in North America, they roamed as far north as the United States and all the way down south to Costa Rica throughout the Pleistocene epoch. It was one of the last in a line of mammoth species, and the largest. These mammoths could grow up to 13 feet tall, and weigh up to 10 tons. It has long, curved tusks which they most likely used similarly to modern day elephants; for foraging, fighting, and manipulating objects. Stomach, dung, hair, and bone matter belonging to the Columbian mammoth have been found, but the discovery of a preserved carcass still eludes scientists. The Columbian mammoth favored open areas and did not reside in the arctic landscapes of Canada, which were actually occupied by the woolly mammoths.
Paleontologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History in Mexico discovered the remains. It is believed that the skull came from an adult male that was between 35 and 40 years old when it died. The mammoth would have weighed between three and five tons when it roamed the land thousands of years ago.
Alejandra Ramirez, the mayor, stated that the finding was very crucial because the skull is in a state of perfect preservation. Ivan Alarcon, a paleontologist, stated it, along with the rest of the skeleton, was so well preserved because they had been in a prehistoric lake. The remains were transported to the Bishop Museum in order to be restored, and it is anticipated to be around a year before they will go to display.
Ms. Ramirez said, “Once restored, the skull of the mammoth, from the species Mamut Columbi, will be part of the Museum of Galeana.”
Paleontologist Aracely Rivera, who was an associate of the archaeological work unit, stated the remnants were discovered during the construction on a house. Subsequently, neighbors reported it to the authorities, adding that the place is rich in fossils. In fact, she said, “It is common to see archaeological remains trafficked in the state of Nuevo Leon.”