Massive fossilized mammoth tusk discovered in Seattle

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

ancient mammoth
Columbian mammoths had great curving tusks that could grow to be 15 feet long!

A construction company was working on a piece of land in Seattle when they found a large fossil about 30 feet below street level. They immediately contacted the local museum, which determined it was a fossilized mammoth tusk, possibly 16,000 years old. According to experts, it may be one of the largest ever found in the Seattle area.

Mammoths, who are part of the same biological family as modern-day elephants, roamed Europe and the United States in ancient frosty times. Finding intact fossils like this 8-foot-6-inch-long tusk is extremely rare! In fact, experts believe that even just one discovery every 2 decades is exceptional.

This tusk seems to have belonged to a Columbian mammoth, who roamed the southern half of North America and northern parts of Mexico.

Taller than woolly mammoths, these beasts stood at a towering 12 feet at the shoulder. Even their tusks were enormous, extending longer than any elephant family on record at an intimidating 15-foot length! Sadly, the giant creatures went extinct approximately 12,400 years ago.

As for the fate of the recently unearthed fossil, it could have ended up in a private collection since it was found on private property. Fortunately, it was donated to the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture for scientific and educational purposes.

 Featured image courtesy of Burke Museum on Facebook