Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A million-year-old mammoth skeleton found in Serbia

Jun 3 02:02 PM US/Eastern

A finely preserved skeleton of a mammoth, believed to be one million years old, was uncovered near an archaeological site in eastern Serbia, local media reported on Wednesday.
The skeleton was uncovered during ongoing excavations of the site at Viminacium, a Roman military settlement on the Danube river, said archaeologist Miomir Korac.

Zoran Markovic of Serbia's Nature museum said the skeleton "is extremely well preserved, with only a slightly damaged skull.

"We believe the skeleton is about one million years old, based on the layers of the grounds where it has been found," Markovic told B92 television.

Experts estimated that the mammoth was over four metres tall (13 feet), possibly weighing up to 10 tonnes.

The animal could have died near the Danube on its way from northern Africa and to southern Europe, B92 reported.

In 1996, fossil remains of a mammoth were found near the northern Serbian town Kikinda. The mammoth, believed to be about half a million years old, was named Kika and soon become a tourist attraction.

On September 6, local authorities will organize a "Mammoth fest" to celebrate "Kika's 12th birthday," its website at said.

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