Remains of about 60 mammoths were found in Mexico City at the construction site of the new airport, reports Excelsior.
One paleontologist noted that almost all finds belong to Columbus mammoths – the largest species that has ever existed on Earth. Their weight could reach 10 tons, their height – up to 4 meters. These animals lived in the southwest of modern USA, as well as in Mexico, and died out about 11.5 thousand years ago.
Last year, in the municipality of Tultepek, which is near the future airport, archaeologists found two mammoth traps with 800 bones.
At the end of 2018, the “Mammoth Museum” was opened in Tultepek. The main exhibit was the reconstructed skeleton of an elephant representative.
The last mammoths on the planet could be exterminated from genetic defects. Such results are presented in the study of American scientists, an article describing which is published in the journal Genome Biology and Evolution.
The last mammoths on Earth are the woolly mammoths of Wrangel Island. While woolen mammoths mostly died out about 10-11 thousand years ago, during the last ice age, animals on the Arctic island lived for six millennia after.
In 2017, scientists discovered potentially harmful genetic mutations in Wrangel Island mammoth genes and suggested that this was the cause of the animals’ extinction. Since the mammoth population was small – from 100 to 300 individuals – there were conditions under which it was inevitable related crossbreeding, which entailed a sharp decline in the ability of the species to limit harmful genetic mutations.