UK & World News

  • 8 November 2012, 11:00

Woolly Mammoth Skeleton Unearthed Near Paris

The remains of a woolly mammoth that lived between 200,000 and 500,000 years ago have been found near Paris.

Nicknamed Helmut, the skeleton was discovered by accident during the excavation of an ancient Roman site along the Changis-sur-Marne riverbank, 30 miles east of the French capital.

The remains - which are in a near perfect condition - include four connected vertebrae, jaw bones and a complete pelvis.

Researchers at the National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research said the creature would have been in its 20s when it died.

It may be only the third such specimen of a long-haired woolly mammoth unearthed in France in the last 150 years. Such discoveries are more common in Siberia.

Archaeologists will try to establish the circumstances of the animal's death.

Current theories are that it could have drowned in the River Marne or been hunted by Neanderthal man.

It was a French scientist, Georges Cuvier, who first identified the woolly mammoth in 1796.

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