Canadian gold miners found three incomplete skeletons of woolly mammoths at the Little Flake mine near Dawson City, Yukon. Perhaps the mammoths belonged to the same family.
These three mammoths probably belonged to the same family.
According to Live Science, the skeletons were handed over to the Yukon government (an area in northwestern Canada).
Yukon paleontologist Grant Zazula said that prospectors at the Dawson gold mines regularly find individual fossil bones. However, almost complete skeletons are extremely rare.
As Zazula told Live Science, some of the bones found this time are still articulated with each other. The paleontologist suggests that "these three mammoths probably lived together and died together."
According to Zazula, miners found mammoth skeletons near a layer of volcanic tephra that probably dates back 29,000 years ago when a volcano erupted in the Aleutian Islands. Most likely the mammoths lived during the eruption. At the time, most of Canada was covered in glaciers, according to the paleontologist, and the area around Dawson City was one of the few ice-free.
According to the paleontologist, the work on uncovering the history of these mammoths is just beginning. The scientist plans to find out what caused their death, as well as whether they were related (for this, the DNA of the skeletons has already been sent to the laboratory).