Extremely rare, complete mammoth skull uncovered off the coast of Southern California

Extremely rare, complete mammoth skull uncovered off the coast of Southern California

A unique fossil discovery has been made on a California island by a team of scientists. They have uncovered a complete mammoth skull in an extremely good condition. In fact, it is now being called as the best-preserved mammoth skull to be recovered from the Channel Islands.

The archaeologists have dated the charcoal samples found near specimen on Channel Islands National Park’s Santa Rosa Island and found them to be around 13,000 years old. Paleontologist Justin Wilkins said that the find is vital because it is an evidence that the mammoth to be present on the Channel Islands almost at the same time as humans.

Its tusks are especially quite interesting, said Wilkins, because the right tusk measures 1.4 meters in length and in a coil form like of an older mammal but the left tusk is shorter and more like of a juvenile. The team said that the specimen is rare because it is not big enough to be categorized as a Columbian mammoth or small enough to be a pygmy mammoth.

As per the scientists, over the past two ice ages, the Columbia mammoths had migrated to the Channel Islands and over the time, descendants of them reduced into size resulting into a species known as Mammuthus exilis.

For the first time, the specimen was discovered in September 2014. At that time, the find was known as Larry, after the biologist who discovered the specimen, Peter Larramendy, and a colleague, the late Larry Agenbroad.

The scientists said that the specimen’s teeth will help them to find out the exact age of the skull. The mammoth skull will be displayed at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.

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