Scientists are examining a huge molar from a prehistoric mammoth unearthed in Mexico to study the giant beast's diet.

 

The tooth - believed to be up to 15,000 years old - was discovered by accident while experts were searching for giant Pleistocene molluscs in Ciudad de Gomez Palacio.

 

Biologists Jose Luis Estrada and Alexander Czaja called in Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History after finding the mammoth remains.

 

Institute archaeologist Cindy Sandoval Mora told local media it was the first discovery of mammoth remains found in the area.

 

The massive tooth can be aged almost exactly from the number of ridges found on it, which changed as mammoths evolved.

 

The finders told local media that the molar was found more than 30 feet (10 metres) beneath a bed of gravel under a river.

 

Experts say it will be put on display to the public after scientific studies are complete.

 

Mammoth remains have been discovered in several other regions of Mexico, in areas near lakes where herds once congregated.

 

Known as the Columbian Mammoth (Mammuthus columbi), they were a sub-species which lived across the United States and Central America.

 

The remains of a 14,000 year old mammoth were found near Mexico City last summer during work to install new drains in the village of Tultepec.

CEN/INAH
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Author: Martina Salas

I am a journalist focus in human interest stories from Spain and Latin America.