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Fossil mammoth site at Hot Springs, South Dakota

Fossil mammoth site at Hot Springs, South Dakota

E447/0009

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Credit

PETER MENZEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PETER MENZEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Fossil mammoth site. View of the largest collection of Columbian mammoth fossils (Mammuthus columbi) in the Western Hemisphere. Palaeontologist Judy Davids sits among excavated bones at the Hot Springs Mammoth Site in South Dakota, USA. Here, the fossilised skeletons of at least 43 mammoths lie, buried for 26,000 years. It is thought these animals became trapped in a large sinkhole when they came to drink water. Mammuthus columbi was a giant elephant-like mammal, some 4 metres in height, which roamed temperate parts of North America. It was an important later relative of the woolly mammoth of Europe and Siberia. This fossil site was discovered in 1974.

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