More Than 200 Mammoth Skeletons Discovered In Mexico City

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Discovery might help explain why the species went extinct

Talk about making a big discovery. Actually, make that a mammoth-sized discovery. Construction workers in Mexico City uncovered the bones of more than 200 mammoths while making way for an airport recently. Experts were quickly called to the scene. The site has since been nicknamed “mammoth central” by archeologists and paleontologists.

What are mammoths?

Mammoths were mammals related to the modern elephant.

The animals used to roam North America but are now extinct, meaning they disappeared from the planet like the dinosaurs.

Scientists aren’t exactly sure why mammoths went extinct.

Some say it was because of  the presence of early humans. Others blame a changing climate.

Paleontologist Joaquin Arroyo Cabrales said the airport site will be “very important” when it comes to testing various extinction theories.

Why the mammoth graveyard?

(Graphic design by Allison Cake/CBC)

The construction site appears to be on top of what was an ancient lakebed.

Experts believe the mammoths were drawn to the water and then got trapped in the marshy soil.

Other creatures also found

Paleontologists used all kinds of tools to safely unearth the bones at the ancient site. (Image credit: Marco Ugarte/The Associated Press)

When they started digging at the site, scientists found other types of animal bones as well.

That includes the bones of about 25 camels and five horses, said archeologist Rubén Manzanilla López of the National Institute of Anthropology and History.

Sounds like a prehistoric zoo!

Archeologists and paleontologists continue to discover new things about the mammoth site.

For example, there are signs that humans might have made tools out of the mammoth bones between 10,000 and 20,000 years ago.