Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Elephant from prehistory

Skull and tusks of enormous primitive elephant, who died two million years ago, they found construction workers in Chile. Mastodon, the approximate size of today's elephants, probably lived in forests and plains, before it died and sank into the swamp, which has preserved its remains.

Found parts of animals could help scientists to gather more information about the DNA that share the elephants with their much larger cousins, woolly mammoth. It could also be gathered to new discoveries about the origin of elephants.

To the skull and tusks came up during the construction of hydropower plants along the river near the capital of Chile, Santiago. Digging into the depth, the workers noticed 121 centimeters long and 15.24 wide tusks. Then they called paleontologists, who after further digging, found the first complete skull of a mastodon.

When we started digging, we realized that there is something else besides the tusks - says Rafael Labarca the Chilean Institute. - The entire skull is of one piece and in perfect condition, with all the teeth and tusks. Within the skull, we found part of the vertebra, which was once part of the spine.

Mastodon were great as today's elephants, but they had more muscle and fur, which protected them from cold. Fossil evidence shows that they lived in Africa about fifty million years.

First animals, which resembled pigs with tusks, have evolved into a series of new species. Some of them were much larger, spread across the globe, settling every continent except Australia and Antarctica. Trilofodon with four tusks, appeared before 26 million years ago and lived up to two million years ago in Eurasia, Africa, and North America.

Modern humans are, by comparison, began to inhabit the planet 200,000 years ago.

Evolution and extinction of most modern species of elephants, were connected, presumably, with the spread of the human race. Most of the remains of mastodon, found in North America.

Few are found in the southern part of the continent. One of the greatest discoveries occurred 1993rd in Diamond Velija, lake outside Hemet, California. There is a lot of remains found, then this place is named Valley of the mastodons.

In July 2007. The west of Athens, were discovered mastodon tusk length 4.8 meters, each weighing a ton.

MAMMOTH - the next of kin the largest of all elephants, mammoth, which was accustomed to cold in Eurasia, Africa and North America, two million years ago. It is believed that these animals are the closest relatives of modern elephants. Mammoths and mastodons, they lived up to two million years ago, and is considered to have been the first known people.

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