Large 300,000-year-old elephant skeleton with 3-meter tusks discovered in Germany

Archaeologists in Germany, they discovered the remains of a huge elephant that dates back some 300,000 years.


The almost complete skeleton was discovered by experts at the University of Tubingen in Schöningen.

Jordi Serangeli, head of the excavation, said: "We found tusks 2.3 meters long, a complete lower jaw, numerous vertebrae and ribs, as well as large bones belonging to three of the legs and even the five delicate hyoid bones."

The elephant was an older woman with worn teeth, according to archaeologist Ivo Verheijen.


He explained: "The animal had a shoulder height of about 3.2 meters and weighed about 6.8 tonnes – it was therefore bigger than today's African elephant cows".

According to Verheijen, the elephant probably died of old age and not as a result of hunting.


The elephant was an older woman with worn teeth

The elephant probably died of old age and not as a result of hunting

He added: “Elephants generally remain close and in the water when they are sick or old. Numerous bite marks on the recovered bones show that the carnivores visited the carcass. "

However, the researchers also found 30 small flakes of flint next to the elephant, indicating that hunters are likely to cut meat from the carcass.


While several other elephant skeletons have been discovered across Europe, researchers say this is the first of its kind in Germany.


The artistic impression of an elephant

Flavio Altamura, who analyzed trails at the site, explained: "A small herd of adults and young animals must have passed.

“The heavy animals were walking alongside the lake. His feet sank into the mud, leaving behind circular bands with a maximum diameter of about 60 centimeters. "

While it may be hard to believe, wildlife in Europe resembled that seen in Africa today, including not only elephants, but also lions, rhinos and bears.

Serangeli added: "The wealth of wildlife was similar to that of modern Africa."


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