Europe

Austrian experts recover giant tusks of rare mammoth breed

  • In this undated photo provided by Vienna Museum of Natural History an employee of Vienna's Museum of Natural History works on tusk of a mammoth. The 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 a stretch of Austrian freeway near Bullendorf north of Vienna. (Dr. Ursula Goehlich/Museum of Natural History via AP)

    In this undated photo provided by Vienna Museum of Natural History an employee of Vienna's Museum of Natural History works on tusk of a mammoth. The 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 a stretch of Austrian freeway near Bullendorf north of Vienna. (Dr. Ursula Goehlich/Museum of Natural History via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this undated photo provided by Vienna Museum of Natural History an employee of Vienna's Museum of Natural History works on tusk of a mammoth. The 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 a stretch of Austrian freeway near Bullendorf north of Vienna. (Dr. Ursula Goehlich/Museum of Natural History via AP)

    In this undated photo provided by Vienna Museum of Natural History an employee of Vienna's Museum of Natural History works on tusk of a mammoth. The 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 a stretch of Austrian freeway near Bullendorf north of Vienna. (Dr. Ursula Goehlich/Museum of Natural History via AP)  (The Associated Press)

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 Natural History as saying the tusks are about 2 ½ 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 wooly 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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This story has been corrected to show that the museum's name is Museum of Natural History, not Museum of National History.