Over 200 Mammoth Skeletons Discovered Near Mexico City

A rare graveyard containing over 200 mammoth skeletons, about 25 camels, and 5 horses (all now extinct) was recently discovered at an army-led airport construction site located just north of Mexico City. The project is expected to turn up even more skeletons than what have already been found. This is now the largest known mammoth graveyard, knocking the one in Hot Springs, South Dakota (which has about 61 mammoths) down to number two.

“There are too many. There are hundreds.”
~ Pedro Sánchez Nava,
Archeologist with Mexico’s
National Institute of Anthropology and History

The experts reported that they believed these creatures died sometime between 8,000 and 18,000 BCE. Human presence has been detected as there have been many mammoth-bone tools discovered along with the skeletons. The cause of the herd’s death is not yet certain. There were artificial pits (traps made by humans for catching prey) found about 12 miles away, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that humans trapped this massive herd.

“What caused these animals extinction, everywhere there is a debate, whether it was climate change or the presence of humans. I think in the end the decision will be that there was a synergy effect between climate change and human presence.”
~ Joaquin Arroyo Cabrales, Paleontologist

The archaeologists working on the graveyard are hopeful that this find will shed more light on to the exact reasons why the large mammals went extinct. The airport construction is scheduled to continue regardless of the skeletons and is expected to be completed by early 2022, so keep your eyes out for more news about this dig.

Here are some images from the find:

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[1] – https://apnews.com/29d8dd7da7b8bce72eee1fa3656e630a. Accessed 5 Sept. 2020.

[2] – https://www.businessinsider.com/200-mammoths-found-mexico-city-airport-2020-9. Accessed 5 Sept. 2020.

[3] – https://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/mexico-citys-new-airport-site-becomes-mammoth-central/. Accessed 5 Sept. 2020.

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