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28/06/2016, 12:21

Workers found remains of 14,000-year-old 10 ton mammoth beneath busy suburban road

Workers digging up a busy street in the Mexican city of Tultepec have delighted paleontologists with a mammoth find - literally!

The skeleton of the long-extinct behemoth - which experts believe grew to 16 feet tall and weighed as much as 10 tonnes - was found while workers were carrying out drainage work in the the city's suburb of San Antonio Xahuento.

Experts say the beast died on that spot 12,000-14,000 years ago, and remained there while civilization sprouted up just six-and-a-half feet above it, The Telegraph reported.

Mammoth find: The three-foot-long skull was found under the Mexican city of Tultepec, just six-and-a-half feet beneath a busy suburban road. Work to uncover and remove it has been ongoing since April

Bones about it: As well as the skull, a pelvis, leg bones and vertebrae have also been found. Experts say that the placement of the bones suggests the mammoth was cut up after it died - most likely by humans, for meat

Huge: The mammoth is believed to have died aged 20-25, around 12,000-14,000 years ago. It may have become stuck in mud due to its mass

Work began on the site in April, and the creature's three-foot-wide head (complete with ten-foot curved tusks) has now been almost completely removed from the soil, as has its pelvis.

That's not a quick process at all, as tens of thousands of years of dirt must be carefully removed from each bone to ensure that it remains as intact as possible.

Experts also found other bones, including ribs, leg bones and vertebrae, and believe that their placement reveals the beast met a grisly fate after it had already died.

Paleontologist Luis Cordoba Barradas said in a statement that 'the specimen may have been partially cut up by a human group'.

They would have then taken its meat and pelt. It was 20-25 years old when it died.

That would have occurred, experts believe, after the heavy beast became trapped in mud; animals are also thought to have taken apart the body after its death.

The creature belonged to the species Mammuthus Columbi, a North and Central American mammoth that has been found across the continent, with many examples having already been found in Mexico.

According to Luis Cordoba, an archaeologist with the National Institute of Anthropology and History, the remains of more than 50 mammoths have been found in the area around Mexico City. 

Their skeletons are typically discovered near lakes and other sources of water where the creatures would have gathered, although some have been found in California's La Brea tar pits.

The last such find in the country occurred in 2013, when residents of Santa Ana Tlacotenco in Milpa Alta chances across the most complete ancient mammoth skeleton ever discovered.

Deep down: The mammoth was of the species Mammuthus Columbi, which has been found across North and Central America

Layers: Ground layers have been marked with timestamps that show a difference of almost 6,000 years separated by just a foot of earth

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