15,000-year-old mammoth trap discovered in Mexico

Archaeologists in Mexico said they had discovered two large holes excavated by prehistoric humans 15,000 years ago to trap mammoths.

Researchers at the National Institute of Anthropology and History of Mexico on November 6 said two mammoth traps were discovered during the clearance of a plot of land to make landfills, according to AP.

The two pits contain many bone fragments from at least 14 mammoth individuals. The excavation site is located in the Tultepec region, north of Mexico City. Many specimens show animals being slaughtered.

Picture 1 of 15,000-year-old mammoth trap discovered in Mexico
Archaeologists discovered the bones of at least 14 mammoths and other animals in two pitfalls.(Photo: AFP).

These holes are about 1.7m deep and have a diameter of nearly 22m. The researchers said prehistoric hunters may have caught and chased the animals to the hole.

They also found the bones of two species of horse and camel extinct long ago in the Americas.

Mexican officials have not announced the fate of the Mexico City suburban landfill project after the archaeological discovery.

Picture 2 of 15,000-year-old mammoth trap discovered in Mexico
Excavation site is located near the capital Mexico City.(Photo: AFP).

Mammoths used to live in Europe and North America for nearly 140,000 years, until the ice age ended nearly 10,000 years ago.

Male mammoths are usually nearly 3.5 meters high, while females are smaller in size not too much. Mammoth tusks can be up to 5 meters long. The thick undercoat is said to be nearly 1m long.

Picture 3 of 15,000-year-old mammoth trap discovered in Mexico
The researchers estimated the pit was dug nearly 15,000 years ago.(Photo: AFP).

Mammoths have small ears and a short tail to reduce heat loss. Tusks often have horns protruding like two "fingers" , which help them dig grass, roots and plants under thick snow.

This is one of the least mysterious prehistoric animals with science. Mammoth carcasses are mostly preserved by snow and ice, not fossils.

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