After tens of thousands of years buried and exposed to the elements, it can be rare to find complete dinosaur skeletons. However, that’s exactly what archaeologists did working at a site about 30 miles east of Paris, France. The archaeologists are working along the Changis-sur-Marne river bank and are unearthing a rare almost complete skeleton of a mammoth.
The skeleton has been dubbed Helmut and only three such specimens have been found in France during the last 150 years. The archaeologists believe that the mammoth is probably a Mammuthus primigenius, which is a woolly mammoth with long tusks. The species lived in Eurasia and North America and the scientists believe the mammoth lived about 3700 years ago.
The skeletal remains of the mammoth include four connected vertebrae and complete pelvis. Archaeologists are working to determine whether the mammoth was killed by Neanderthals or whether Neanderthals may have scavenged the animal after its natural death.
Apparently, a flint flake was discovered nearby and a usewear analysis will be performed to determine the function of the flake. The skeleton will also be studied to detect possible cut marks on the bones where Neanderthals may have attacked the animal and harvested its meat for food.