In 2019, scientists from Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute They were exploring an underwater mountain about 10,000 feet deep and nearly 200 miles from shore using a remote-controlled vehicle.
The researchers saw what appeared to be elephant tusks and were able to take a small piece of the tusk at the time, but returned this summer to retrieve the entire specimen.
With the help of researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz and the University of Michigan who examined the find, scientists confirmed last week that the tusk actually belonged to the Colombian mammoth.
The researchers said the cold, high-pressure environment of the deep water helped keep the ancient tusk, which is more than 3 feet long, intact.
In 34 years of research on the high seas, this is perhaps one of our most remarkable discoveries to date: ancient mammoth tusks.
– MBARI (MBARI_News) November 23, 2021
“The deep-sea conservation environment for this specimen is unlike almost anything we’ve seen elsewhere,” said University of Michigan paleontologist Daniel Fisher. in a report.
“Other mammoths have been recovered from the ocean, but not usually at depths of more than a few tens of metres,” Fisher said.
Research is underway to extract more information from the defense. Scientists use defense computed tomography to determine the animal’s age and how it might have ended up off the coast.
The research team believes that this find may be the oldest well-preserved giant tusk recovered from this region of North America. The history of the tusk is still ongoing and it is estimated to be over 100,000 years old.
“You start to ‘expect the unexpected’ when exploring the sea floor, but I’m still amazed that we came across 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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