Mexican airport site emerges as major graveyard of Ice Age mammoths

Amid busy building crews racing to construct an airport in Mexico, scientists are unearthing an increasing number of mammoth skeletons in what has rapidly develop into one of many world’s largest concentrations of the now-extinct relative of recent elephants.

Greater than 100 mammoth skeletons have been recognized unfold throughout almost 200 excavation websites, together with a mixture of different Ice Age mammals, within the space destined to develop into the Mexican capital’s new industrial airport.

Lead archeologist Ruben Manzanilla defined on Tuesday that round 24,000 years in the past mammoth herds reached this spot the place sprawling grasslands and lakes would have enticed them to reside.

“This place was like a paradise,” he advised Reuters, noting that because the final glaciers melted a variety of mammals – together with historic species of camels, horses and buffalo – lived alongside what would have been a particularly muddy shoreline.

“Then over a few years the identical story repeated itself: The animals ventured too far, received trapped and couldn’t get their legs out of the muck,” stated Manzanilla.

He speculates that many of the mammoths died this manner, although he provides that there’s some proof that round 10,000 years in the past early people could have additionally hunted the 20-tonne beasts with flint arrows and spears, or dug rudimentary shallow water pits to snare them.

However the sheer quantity of bones, together with lengthy, curling tusks – technically the animal’s entrance two enamel – have come as a shock.

“We had the concept that we’d discover mammoth stays, however not this many,” he stated.

As soon as the excavations are completed, Manzanilla stated the location, positioned about 30 miles (50km) north of downtown Mexico Metropolis, might rival others in the US and Siberia because the planet’s largest deposit of mammoth skeletons.

He famous {that a} museum-style mammoth exhibit is being deliberate for the airport’s foremost terminal.

The sequence of inter-connected lakes that when coated the Valley of Mexico had been intentionally drained by Spanish colonial masters starting within the 1600s in an effort to tame annual flooding.

As we speak, the principally dry panorama is dominated by the working-class neighborhoods and highways that spill out from Mexico Metropolis.

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