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Saturday, 31 October 2015

325,000 Years Old Elephant Tusk discovered from Saudi Desert

History is probably one of the most interesting things in the world. We cannot even imagine how many people lived their lives to the fullest, how many different animals came to this earth, roamed the earth and subsequently became extinct all before we even existed. Similarly most of history is said to be buried beneath our feet hence archaeology is probably one of the most interesting and exciting professions in the world. You may never know what you will come across. It can be as simple as old bones, or maybe the bones of an extinct animal species and maybe even an entire lost civilization.


These discoveries can be made all around the world since in the earlier ages, animals and people moved around freely from one land to another. Hence you may be sitting on top of a lost civilization or maybe the bones of a saber tooth tiger.  Reports are emerging which are stating that a discovery has been made by the archaeologists from the University of Oxford, in which they have uncovered a giant tusk which is estimated to be around 325,000 years old and belonging to a species of the elephant which is now extinct. The huge tusk was found in an excellent preserved condition and had been embedded in an ancient lake which had been found deep under the deserts of Saudi Arabia.


The group of Archaeologists from University of Oxford has been led by the Professor Mike Petraglia. The group found the 2 pieces of Tusk and then excavated it. The tusk measure 7.4 feet or 2.25 meters and was found under the Nafud Desert where the ancient lake was buried. The tusk is believed to belong to the extinct Palaeoloxodon elephant specie. Based on the carpal bone of the elephant, the team of scientists has estimated that the elephant to whom the tusk belonged would have weighed between 6 and 7 tons or anywhere between 13300 to 15400 pounds. If we were to compare, then the modern day African elephant weights only 3-6 tons, which is half of the Palaeoloxodon elephant. The BBC has also reported that the height of the extinct elephant is estimated at around 12 feet at the shoulder.


The head of the archeological team Professor Petraglia has stated that this new discovery of the tusk of the extinct elephant is an immensely huge paleontological finding and is extremely significant is demonstrating that the deserts of Saudi Arabia were green several times throughout history and it is the change in environment in modern times which have caused the drying of the Saudi deserts.


For all the Saudis reading this it is truly exciting to know that there is so much underneath your feet that you may not know about. Additionally it can be now concluded that it is not only seas of oil which can be found under the dry Saudi lands and that a lot of history and culture is also buried deep under out feet.


Source: BBC
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