North America, Pleistocene epoch (Ice Age), ca. 35,000 years ago. A light-and-dark-brown juvenile mammoth tusk (Mammuthus primigenius), with some streaks of grey and creamy beige coloration. The tip is rounded and dull but would have been rather pointy while the animal was still living. The tusk base is jagged with a concave interior root area, and would have been connected to the mammoth's skull underneath layers of thick fur. While notably smaller than its adult counterparts, intact tusks from juvenile mammoths are far more uncommon. A striking example from one of North America's largest land-dwelling species! Size: 27" W x 2.95" H (68.6 cm x 7.5 cm) (width measurement is the straight distance between the tip and the root).
While mammoths survived until approximately 5600 years ago on remote Alaskan islands, those animals had begun to shrink in size as the climate warmed from the end of the Ice Age ca. 10,000 years ago. A tusk of this size comes from deep within the Pleistocene, when the northern hemisphere was dominated by massive ice sheets drained by enormous glacial rivers and lakes. Imagine encountering this animal on an Ice Age steppe, towering up to 13 feet at the shoulder and weighing up to 12 tons, with this tusk and its partner rising in an upward curve from their jaw. Imagine the strength the animal's neck must have had just to hold up these massive teeth, and this is only from a juvenile!
Provenance: private Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA collection, acquired before 1995
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