Prehistoric elephant tusk found in Arabian desert

A large tusk was unearthed in the Nefud desert in the Arabian peninsula dating back 350,000 years ago. The find suggests that this area was greener and more suitable for big land animals, than it is now.

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Researchers from the University of Oxford found the bone which broken in two parts, but when combined it measured six feet in length. About five miles away a Swiss research team also found the carpal bone of a prehistoric elephant, likely the same species.

The mammal is believed to be a Palaeoloxodon or “straight tusked elephant” which once roamed these parts. It was bigger than today’s elephants, weighing in at 6000 – 7000 kg.

Palaeoloxodon_antiquus

Before the excavating began, researchers mapped the area by air, and found ancient lakes and riverbeds, allowing them to accurately assess where fossils were likely to be found.

Check out the Environmental News Network for more.

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One thought on “Prehistoric elephant tusk found in Arabian desert

  1. Pingback: Weekly archaeology roundup 11/04/2014 | Unearthed

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