A man makes a surprising discovery while he strolls on a beach as he goes about his daily work schedule: a two-foot woolly mammoth bone.
Nic Coombey, a coordinator for a local company, was walking on the shore of a beach in Scotland when he chanced upon a huge bone. He had found several big bones in the past as part of his job. He was used to stumbling on bones as big as skeletal remains from whales.
The bone he found about a month ago, however, stood out for its extraordinary size.
Indeed, initial bone analysis conducted by the National Museums of Scotland revealed that his discovery was "almost certainly" to that of a mammoth bone.
A Mammoth Leg Bone
The museum compared the bone with other specimens in its safekeeping and confirmed with "reasonable certainty" that the bone is a fragment of a mammoth leg bone. Andrew Kitchener, a representative from the museum, said that they compared the bone with the skeletal remains of rhinos, elephants, and other mammoths.
"It was a clear match," he confirmed. Judging by the size of the bone, Kitchener estimated that it came from an eight-foot-tall species.
The next step for the museum is to conduct radiocarbon dating to determine the precise age of the bone. For the meantime, the museum is estimating the bone's age to be around 30,000 years old.
The museum noted that Scotland was almost entirely glaciated during the peak of the last Ice Age. The country, however, had already established in the past that life has thrived in the country as early as the last Ice Age. Life forms in the country during that period included mammoths and wooly rhinos, the museum said.
"Assuming this specimen is of local origin, as we believe it is, we would expect it to date to that approximate period," the museum highlighted.
First Confirmed Mammoth Bone In Scotland
Most of the mammoth fossils from the last peak of Ice Age were discovered in Europe, northern Asia, and North America. Mammoths are believed to have gone extinct because of carnivore predators that roamed during the period.
To date, experts are still on the discussion whether humans caused mammoths' extinction. Ancient people began to infiltrate mammoths' habitats some 40,000 years ago. The early humans had also hunted them for their meat, bones, and skin. The animals' skin contained an oily substance that could protect them from the cold environment.
Mammoths used their tusks to drive predators away. Their tusks were also important for them to dig through the snow in search of their food.
At present, the National Museums of Scotland is in possession of two pieces of tusk which are believed to belong to mammoths that resided in Scotland. Hence, Coombey's discovery could be the first confirmed mammoth bone found in the country.