A member of an organization that operates in the field of fossil hunting, Fossil Junkies Dig and Dive Charters, managed to find ancient animal fossils in the Peace River near the city of Arcadia in Florida.
John Kreatsoulas, initially thought that the fossil was an ordinary log. However, when he checked again, he realized that the object was the jaw of a large animal.
“I grabbed it just to hold it for a second and I realized it wasn’t wood but a giant jaw,” Kreatsoulas told NBC2, quoted from Live Science.
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10,000 Year Old Fossil
Once found, the fossil is cleaned and then analyzed. The results revealed that the jaw fossil was likely around 10,000 years old.
Experts analyze fossils with radiocarbon to determine the levels of certain radioactive elements. This analysis is useful for knowing the age and when the fossil was formed.
This jaw fossil will later be registered and stored in a museum owned by the State of Florida.
The Jaws of the Colombian Mammoth
The results of the analysis were also explained by researchers, that the fossil turned out to be the jaw of an ancient mammoth animal. However, experts do not yet know for certain what type of mammoth jaw the fossil is.
So far, they only estimate that it is a fossil of a Colombian mammoth (Mammuthus columbi).
The Colombian mammoth was a resident of the Pleistocene era, which was around 2.6 million to 11,700 years ago in North America.
It is possible that the Colombian mammoth is a type of mammoth resulting from a cross between the woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) and another unknown type of mammoth.
According to DNA research, these mammoths lived in North America from Siberia about 1.5 million years ago. This giant animal is known to have experienced extinction around 13,000 and 10,000 years ago, precisely during the last ice age.
Its extinction according to experts, is due to the increasing temperature and becoming warmer which makes mammoths lose their habitat.
Apart from that, humans also contributed to the extinction of mammoths. Humans carried out massive hunting which depleted the mammoth population.
Not the First Discovery
For your information, this discovery of mammoth fossils is not the first time this has occurred in the Peace River. Another discovery occurred in 2021, where a diver found a 1.2 meter long mammoth foot fossil in the water.
Meanwhile in North Florida, researchers discovered a grave of gomphotheres that was about 5.5 million years old. Gomphotheres were relatives of four-tusked elephants and probably also drowned in the Peace River.
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