Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mammoth graveyard

First, the bones of a female mammoth dubbed "Vika" were found at the site in 2009. Now, the fossilized remains of up to 6 more mammoths are being excavated, and the director of the Archeological Project Viminacium, Miomir Korać, has declared the find unique. While the location of a singular elephant graveyard is a myth, here paleontologists have identified the world's first collective graveyard of a herd of mammoths (images above, more photos here). The discovery was made in mid-June at an open pit coal mine in Kostolac, Serbia. Mining operations were halted when bones were damaged by equipment as they dug 20yds underground. By the time experts could be summoned to the site, which covers roughly 20,000 square meters, a torrential rain exposed more bones, Korac's team vowed to use everything from toothpicks to infrared screening to locate and unearth the skeletons, a task expected to take 6 months. Excavation - which shouldn't be difficult, since they are buried in a matrix of loose sand - will be followed by collaboration among international paleozoologists, paleontologists, and archaeologists to shed light on life as long as 1 million years ago. Korać says, "This is a rare global treat because no such place exists elsewhere in the world."

Always room in the cabinet for more mammoths!

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