Wide Traps Set for Woolly Mammoths Believed Found in Tultepec, Me

Mammoth skeletons and 15,000-year-old human-built traps found in Mexico

Wide Traps Set for Woolly Mammoths Believed Found in Tultepec, Me

The skeletal remains were found in Tultepec, near the site where President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's Government is building a new airport for Mexico City.

Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) says more traps could be uncovered in the area north of Mexico City.

The recent discovery "represents a watershed, a touchstone on what we imagined until now was the interaction of hunter-gatherer bands with these enormous herbivores", Pedro Francisco Sánchez Nava of the National Institute of Anthropology and History said Wednesday.

Researchers speculated that ancient hunters probably chased the giant animals into the pits, which are 1.70 meters deep and 25 meters in diameter (5½ feet by 82 feet). Archaeologists spent 10 months excavating the sites.

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Archaeologists thought early humans only killed mammoths if the animals were trapped or hurt.

The Tultepec site, by contrast, offers "evidence of direct attacks on mammoths", Luis Córdoba Barradas, the leader of the excavation, told reporters, according to the Guardian's Jo Tuckman.

Builders working on the capital's metro system in the 1970s found mammoth bones at Talismán station. Experts think that groups of hunters, perhaps numbering between 20 and 30 people, would separate one individual from the herd and drive it towards the pits, possibly frightening it with torches and branches. Remains of two other species that have gone extinct in the Americas - a horse and a camel - were also found.

A mammoth skull is shown at the bottom of a human-made trap from 15,000 years ago, in Tultepec, Mexico.

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Tultepec is already home to a Mammoth Museum, which houses an nearly complete mammoth skeleton discovered in 2016.

These are some of the remains of at least 14 mammoth specimens found in the traps.

Further research is needed to determine whether there are more mammoth traps nearby.

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