Ancient Mexican lake, became a trap for mammoths 60

In the vicinity of Mexico city found the remains of 60 mammoths Columbus age about 15 thousand years. As reports the website of the National Institute of anthropology and history of Mexico, once in the area was located in shallow lake that attracted many herbivores. However, for some of them it was a trap: they sank in the mud pits and died. Perhaps the unfortunate animals were finished off and eaten by ancient people.

Tens of thousands of years ago, North America was inhabited by several species of mammoths. The Northern continent was familiar to us woolly mammoths (Mammuthus primigenius) and the South-West of modern USA and in Mexico, they succeeded Columbus mammoths (M. columbi), thermophilic and deprived of thick hair. Mammoths Columbus lived before the appearance of humans on the continent and disappeared about 11.5 thousand years ago.

A lot of valuable information about the lifestyle of this species and the causes of its extinction can give the remains of 60 individuals, discovered by a team of archaeologists under the direction of Pedro Francisco Sanchez Nava (Pedro Francisco Sanchez Nava) from the National Institute of anthropology and history of Mexico. The find was made during excavations conducted from October 2019 on the grounds of an old military base North of Mexico city.

In the distant past this area was occupied by a large shallow lake Xaltocan. It attracted many mammoths that fed on growing on its banks by grasses and reeds. However, some of them fell into a natural mud trap and died. It was such unlucky individuals belong to the remains, was in the hands of Mexican scientists. Among the found mammoths are like adult males and females, and cubs.

Researchers believe that people could kill mammoths stuck in the mud, and eat their meat. Perhaps they even drove the ancient giants in a natural trap. Evidence of this yet, but last year, ten kilometers from the site were found two specially dug a two-meter pit aged about 15 thousand years. That they were used for hunting, were discovered in them the remains of 14 mammoths and wild horses and camels. On the bones of some of them preserved traces of human tools.

Find Mexican archeologists will allow you to learn more about the diet of mammoths of Columbus, the genetic health of their populations and the role of humans in their extinction. However, until scientists have more pressing task is to extract from the earth as much as possible of the remains before the end of the excavation. Most likely, the Deposit contains bones of hundreds of mammoths, but every month the team can extract only about ten. To finish their research, archaeologists have by 2022, when the site of a military base will have a new international airport named after General Felipe Angeles, the hero of the Mexican revolution.

The world’s last population of mammoths existed on Wrangel island, disappeared about four thousand years ago. According to a recent study, these animals were ruined by the combination of inbreeding and poor quality of drinking water. And the latest blow to a small population could be the only harsh winter with heavy snowfall, which prevented them from access to the feed.

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