RICHARD T. NOWITZ / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RICHARD T. NOWITZ / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Mammoth excavation. Palaeontologist excavating the skull of a Columbian mammoth (Mammuthus columbi). The bones of at least 43 of these mammoths have been excavated at this site, the largest number of mammoths found in the western hemisphere. These animals died in a sink-hole watering hole 26,000 years ago. Columbian mammoths were giant elephant-like mammals some 4 metres in height which roamed temperate parts of North America. They were an important later relative of the woolly mammoth of Europe and Siberia. This fossil site, at Hot Springs, South Dakota, USA, was discovered in 1974. It is now a working palaeontological museum.
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