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What a mammoth find!

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By Christie Breen
Dumfries and West
What a mammoth find!

SCIENTISTS have confirmed that a large bone found near Stranraer belonged to a woolly mammoth.

The prehistoric find was made by co-ordinator of the Solway Coastwise project, Nic Coombey in 2018 while he was out walking on the beach at Loch Ryan.

He described the bone as about two feet in length, and much bigger than any other he had previously found in the area.

Nic took his find to Dumfries and Galloway’s museum service who in turn passed it on to National Museums Scotland (NMS).

Now, tests have finally confirmed that the bone came from a mammoth and dates back about 45,000 years.

Commenting on the revelation, NMS principal curator of vertebrates Dr Andrew Kitchener said: “We are pleased to report that this find is just as exciting as we first suspected.

“We can confirm that it is indeed a mammoth bone, specifically a femur, dating to around 45,000 years old.

“Separately, we have identified a mammoth tooth from the area dating to at least 46,000 years old, and so we can say with reasonable certainty that there were mammoths roaming Galloway at this time.”

The woolly mammoth was known for its large size, fur, and imposing tusks.The creatures stood about 3m to 3.7m tall and weighed between six and eight tonnes.

They were largely extinct by about 10,000 years ago, due to the pressures of a warming climate combined with hunting by humans.

Other fossils of the now extinct species of elephant have been found in fossil deposits in Europe, northern Asia, and North America.

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