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Massive mastodon tusks discovered in Greece


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#1    Owlscrying

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 06:10 AM

July 26
ATHENS, Greece - Researchers in northern Greece have uncovered two massive tusks of a prehistoric mastodon that roamed Europe more than 2 million years ago — tusks that could be the largest of their kind ever found.

The remains of the mastodon, which was similar to the woolly mammoth but had straighter tusks as well as different teeth and eating habits, were found in an area about 250 miles north of Athens where excavations have uncovered several prehistoric animals over the past decade.

One of the tusks measured 16-feet-4-inches long and the other was more than 15 feet long, the research team said. They were found with the animal’s upper and lower jaws — still bearing teeth — and leg bones, said Evangelia Tsoukala, an assistant professor of geology at the University of Thessaloniki, who led the team that excavated the site.

Tsoukala said the male animal discovered in Greece lived about 2.5 million years ago.

“This animal was in its prime. It was 25 to 30 years old; they lived until about 55. It was about 3.5 meters (11˝ feet) tall at the shoulder, and weighed around six tons,” Tsoukala said.
Dutch researcher Dick Mol, who assisted with the excavation, said plant material found near the tusks would be analyzed to try to determine the environment the animal lived in.

“It’s really a gold mine,” said Mol, a research associate at the Museum of Natural History in Rotterdam. “These are the best preserved skeletons in the world of this species.”
Scientists can analyze the growth rings in the tusks to learn more about the world’s climate at the time the mastodon lived.

The bones will also be scoured for the remote chance of finding DNA material.
Researchers recently analyzed genetic material from an American mastodon recovered from fossils up to 130,000 years old found in Alaska, providing clearer insight into the evolution of elephants.
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#2    . Alexandros .

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 06:58 AM

im not here to comment about this post. Im just here to say to owlscrying, keep up the good work posting threads hour after hour lol.

You really like starting threads!


#3    Naveed

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 07:49 PM

I've always found mastodons fascinating. Probably because we are so used to the idea of elephants only coming from Africa or Asia that it seems so weird that they once thrived over most land masses. I hope this brings a tiny of new insight into the lives of mastodons.


#4    Mr. Mummy's Merry Maiden!

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 09:37 PM

Very interesting discovery!! Thanks for sharing it with us, owlscrying.  grin2.gif


#5    Fox Mccloud

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Posted 03 August 2007 - 06:19 PM

dang those things were huge

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#6    SameerPrehistorica

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 05:04 AM

i always wanted to know which 1 is bigger.....whooly mammoth or mastodon.
      can u tell me the weight and height of mammoth

Edited by davesam, 13 August 2007 - 05:09 AM.


#7    Alt - 30

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 09:13 AM

Quote

July 26
ATHENS, Greece - Researchers in northern Greece have uncovered two massive tusks of a prehistoric mastodon that roamed Europe more than 2 million years ago — tusks that could be the largest of their kind ever found.

The remains of the mastodon, which was similar to the woolly mammoth but had straighter tusks as well as different teeth and eating habits, were found in an area about 250 miles north of Athens where excavations have uncovered several prehistoric animals over the past decade.

One of the tusks measured 16-feet-4-inches long and the other was more than 15 feet long, the research team said. They were found with the animal’s upper and lower jaws — still bearing teeth — and leg bones, said Evangelia Tsoukala, an assistant professor of geology at the University of Thessaloniki, who led the team that excavated the site.

Tsoukala said the male animal discovered in Greece lived about 2.5 million years ago.

“This animal was in its prime. It was 25 to 30 years old; they lived until about 55. It was about 3.5 meters (11˝ feet) tall at the shoulder, and weighed around six tons,” Tsoukala said.
Dutch researcher Dick Mol, who assisted with the excavation, said plant material found near the tusks would be analyzed to try to determine the environment the animal lived in.

“It’s really a gold mine,” said Mol, a research associate at the Museum of Natural History in Rotterdam. “These are the best preserved skeletons in the world of this species.”
Scientists can analyze the growth rings in the tusks to learn more about the world’s climate at the time the mastodon lived.

The bones will also be scoured for the remote chance of finding DNA material.
Researchers recently analyzed genetic material from an American mastodon recovered from fossils up to 130,000 years old found in Alaska, providing clearer insight into the evolution of elephants.
go

13 Ag 2M7:   Found plenty of Mastadons in Alaska, some with meat, frozen in permafrost.  Actually tried (eaten) by miners who hosed them from riverbanks.  I have not heard of any DNA testing but someone must have tried since that tech came along.  Likely locations are known.  I do know people who regularly find tusks and teeth (not meat) to do carving work, in other AK locations and in N. Russia.
         I'd like to hear if anyone's heard of compartative DNA tests between the AK/Russia  and the Greek finds.
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#8    Mr. Mummy's Merry Maiden!

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 10:41 PM

Quote

i always wanted to know which 1 is bigger.....whooly mammoth or mastodon...can u tell me the weight and height of mammoth

According to Wikipedia, mammoths are usually around the same size as an Asian elephant.  original.gif





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