Mammoth ancestor discovery in Namibia


Moeritherium

This picture, like the others in this blog post, is by German artist Heinrich Harder (1858-1935). It depicts Moeritherium, one of the earliest species, ancestral to present day elephants.

Palaeomastodon

This picture shows Palaeomastodon, which lived later than Moeritherium: about 36 million years ago.

Deinotherium

Still later came Deinotherium, looking more like present day elephants; though its tusks pointed downwards.

Before elephant evolution led to the woolly mammoths of about 100,000 years ago, ancestors of these mammoths lived in Africa. They were Mammuthus subplanifrons. Ever since the 1920s, only a few small fossils of this species had been found.

Recently, Dutch paleontologist Dick Mol found an almost complete skeleton of such a fossil ancestor, 3-4 million years old, in Etosha national park in Namibia. Later, Mr Mol says, mammoths left Africa for Eurasia; and humans went along with them.

This video is called National Geographic Mammoth Unearthed Documentary.

Yesterday, in Amsterdam, the exhibition Giants of the Ice Age, on mammoths and similar animals, started.

12 thoughts on “Mammoth ancestor discovery in Namibia

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