Utility workers digging in the Mexican city of Tultepec unearthed the fossilized remains of a 14,000-year-old mammoth that researchers believe was cut up by early humans for meat.
The well-preserved mammoth fossils were discovered in Tultepec while drains were being installed on a street; other fossilized remains have been discovered in the area, which is believed to have been where the hefty mammoths would get stuck.
The skull of the mammoth skull measured about 3 feet across while the two, perfectly intact tusks spanned over 10 feet in length. The North American mammoth, also known as Mammuthus columbi, is estimated to have weighed about 11 tons and stood around 16 feet tall.
This new specimen is believed to have been between 20 and 25 years of age when it died. Mexican scientists are hoping to collect the rest of the fossils and one day assemble it for display.
The recent discovery of the mammoth at Tultepec – which was found about six feet under the street – is the first of its kind since 2013, when archaeologists in Mexico City unearthed the most complete set of mammoth bones ever found in the country.
Luis Cordoba, an archaeologist with the National Institute of Anthropology and History, said that the remains of more than 50 mammoths had been discovered in the area around the capital. Other mammoth remains have been uncovered across Mexico, Texas and as far west as the La Brea Tar Pits in California.
While scientists know the relative size of the North American mammoth, there is still a debate over whether or not it had hair like its cousin the wooly mammoth. Despite this, it is known that the mammoths had grey-colored skin similar to elephants.