Pilot Randy Prickett and scientist Steven Haddock, researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), discovered a Colombian mammoth tusk 185 miles offshore and 10,000 feet deep in the ocean in 2019, said the ‘institution. in a press release.

At the time, they were only able to collect a small piece of the tusk, so they returned in July 2021 to get the full sample.

“You start to ‘expect the unexpected’ when exploring the seabed, but I’m still amazed that we’ve come across a mammoth’s ancient tusk,” Haddock said. “Our work on this exciting discovery is only just beginning and we look forward to sharing more information in the future.”

University of Michigan paleontologist Daniel Fisher, who specializes in studying mammoths and mastodons, said it was unlike anything he had ever seen.

“Other mammoths have been recovered from the ocean, but usually not at depths of more than a few tens of meters,” Fisher said.

A variety of research facilities are examining the defense to determine a variety of information about it, including the animal’s age when it died, the statement said. The researchers said the cold, high-pressure environment helped preserve the defense, so it could be studied in more detail.

Scientists believe it may be the oldest well-preserved mammoth tusk recovered from this region of North America, and the UCSC Geochronology Laboratory estimates it to be over 100,000 years old after it was found. analyzed radioisotopes.

The researchers hope the data collected can not only tell them more about the mammoth they found, but also the species in general.

“Specimens like this provide a rare opportunity to paint a picture of both an animal that was alive and the environment it lived in,” said Beth Shapiro, senior researcher at the Paleogenomics Laboratory at the UCSC.

“Mammoth remains from mainland North America are particularly rare, so we expect DNA from this tusk to go far in refining what we know about mammoths in this part of the world.”