The fossilized remains of a 14,000-year-old mammoth were discovered near Mexico City during a drain installation. Mexican experts are now completing the excavation work near the village of Tultepec.
The mammoth bones were found scattered across the area. This suggested that the early humans cut up the ancient mammoth for pelt and meat. The skeleton is believed to be between 12,000 and 14,000 years old.
The other bones were unearthed in what used to be a shallow lake where heavy ancient mammoths got trapped. The position of the remains suggested that the mammoth died after being trapped, largely due to heavy build and mass. Later, the ancient humans and other predators cut up the mammoth.
The mammoth skull measured 1 meter in width, while the tusks spanned over 10 feet. The skeleton belonged to a North American mammoth called Mammuthus columbi (Columbian mammoth). Experts estimated that the mammoth weighed about 10 tonnes (11.02 tons) and measured 16 feet tall.
Archaeologist Luis Cordoba from the National Institute of Anthropology and History said that the fossilized remains of more than 50 mammoths had been unearthed in Mexico City's surrounding areas.
The most current find, which is the Tultepec mammoth, was found buried 2 meters underneath a village street. When the mammoth was discovered, the tusks were still attached to its skull, and the skeleton was nearly complete and well-preserved. Cordoba estimated that the mammoth died between the ages of 20 and 25.
The recent discovery of the Tultepec mammoth is a first since 2013, when archaeologists in Mexico City unearthed the most complete set of mammoth bones found in Mexico. The scientists are hoping to assemble the unearthed remains of the Tultepec mammoth for display.
Columbian mammoths lived across Central America and the United States. The remains of these subspecies have been discovered across Mexico and Texas and even in California's La Brea Tar Pits.
Columbian mammoths' spiraled tusks measured up to 4.9 meters in length. This made them the holders of the world's longest tusks in the elephant family.
Scientists have debated on how hairy the Columbian mammoths were. Some experts suggested that they were as hairy as a woolly mammoth that had a full fur coat. It is also believed that the hair on some of the Columbian mammoth's body grew more extensively than the others, including the top of its head.
Despite the hair debate, Columbian mammoths were similar to elephants with its exposed gray-colored skin.