Woolly Mammoth Discovered Near Paris, France
November 7, 2012

Woolly Mammoth Discovered Near Paris, France

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online

Sully didn't exactly have a French accent in the Ice Age movies, but the creators may want to rethink that with the latest archaeology find.

Archaeologists have unearthed the remains of a woolly mammoth northeast of Paris, according to the French National Institute for Preventative Archaeological Research (INRAP).

The remains found at Changis-sur-Marne included a femur, a complete pelvis, jawbones and four connected vertebrate.

The mammoth, or "Helmut" as the team has named it, is estimated to have been between 20 and 30 years old when it died.

The bones were discovered by accident during the excavation of an ancient Roman site 30 miles east of Paris.

Helmut is just the third fossil of a long-haired woolly mammoth discovered in France over the past 150 years. The extinct mammals are more commonly discovered in Siberia.

The woolly mammoth, or Mammuthus Primigenius, species disappeared about 10,000 years ago. Scientists believe they went extinct due to global warming.

INRAP researchers also found two flint axes near the skull of Helmut, which suggests that the mammoth was in touch with the Neanderthals. The tools could have been used to cut up the animal. However, whether it was dead before it crossed the neanderthals path is yet to be known.

The archaeologists said the mammoth's circumstances of death was a result of drowning or hunting. They also found a burst of flint, in direct relation with the pachyderm that shows "the intervention of man on the carcass," the archaeologists wrote in a press release.

"A Flint traceologique study will determine its use; a study highlights will detect any traces of cutting on the bones of the animal," the archaeologists said.

They said the discovery of Helmut is exceptional because it shows the association of man with the woolly mammoth took place in the Middle Paleolithic in Western Europe.

The discovery could also have implications for the scientific community on the predatory abilities of the Neanderthals.