Austrian experts recover giant tusks of rare mammoth breed

Re-creation of woolly mammoths in a late Pleistocene landscape in northern Spain. Artwork by Mauricio Anton. © 2008 Public Library of Science, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 license.

Re-creation of woolly mammoths in a late Pleistocene landscape in northern Spain. Artwork by Mauricio Anton. © 2008 Public Library of Science, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 license.

 

VIENNA (AP) – An Austrian museum team has recovered two giant tusks and other remnants of what experts say are apparently the remains of a rare mammoth breed, after construction crews unearthed them while working on an Austrian freeway.

The find, dating back to mid-August, was reported by Austrian media on Monday. They cite officials of Vienna’s Museum of National History as saying the tusks are about 2 1/2 meters (more than 8 feet) long and apparently come from a mammoth that lived more than a million years ago. That precedes the more well-known woolly mammoth, which was hunted by ancient humans.

Also found at the site 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Vienna were parts of the animal’s vertebrae.

Museum expert Oleg Mandic describes the discovery as “pretty sensational.”

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