Ancient mammoth tusks discovered 10,000 feet deep in the ocean off the California coast

An ancient mammoth tusk has been recovered from deep ocean waters off the coast of central California that may be over 100,000 years old.

In 2019, scientists from Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute They were exploring an underwater mountain about 10,000 feet deep and nearly 200 miles offshore using a remotely operated vehicle.

The researchers saw what appeared to be elephant tusks and were able to take a small part of the tusk at the time, but returned this summer to retrieve the entire specimen.

With the help of researchers from the University of California, Santa Cruz and the University of Michigan who examined the find, scientists confirmed last week that the tusk was in fact the property of a Colombian mammoth.


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The researchers said the cold environment and high pressure deep under the sea helped keep the ancient tusk, which was more than a meter long, intact.

“The deep-sea conservation environment for this specimen is different from almost anything we’ve seen elsewhere,” said University of Michigan paleontologist Daniel Fisher. in the current situation.

“Other mammoths have been recovered from the ocean, but generally not from depths of more than a few tens of meters,” Fisher said.

Research is ongoing to extract more information from Knapp. Scientists are using CT scans of the canines to determine the age of the animal and how it ended up in the deep sea.

The research team believes that this find could be the oldest well-preserved giant tusk recovered from this region of North America. The canine is dated and is estimated to be over 100,000 years old.

“You start to ‘expect the unexpected’ when you explore the deep sea, but it still amazes me that we find an ancient mammoth tusk,” said Stephen Haddock, chief scientist at the Monterey Institute.

The Colombian mammoth roamed the Americas as far north as the northern United States and as far south as Costa Rica. The species became extinct about 11,500 years ago.


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