9.3" Irish Elk Jaw - Pleistocene, North Sea

This is a partial jaw with four molars from an Irish Elk (Megaloceros giganteus), a giant prehistoric deer with antlers that could grow up to 12 feet across. It's estimated that they could have attained a body mass of nearly 1,500 pounds, roughly equivalent to an Alaskan Moose. The most recent remains of the species have been carbon dated to about 7,700 years ago in Siberia.

These pleistocene fossils are dredged up by fishing trawlers in the the North Sea between Britain and Denmark. Fishermen routinely find mammoth teeth and many ice aged fossils in their nets and given the chance that a fossil is accidentally gathered in a net is slim the sea floor is probably littered with the remains of millions of animals. The cold temperatures and low oxygen environment of the North Sea has aided in the preservation of these teeth and bones.

While these fossils have been pulled up in nets for more than a century, they were frequently discarded. It wasn't until the past two decades that this material has begun to be systematically collected and studied. By recording the locations of their finds and allowing scientists to make observations before the more common material is made available, much has been learned about the fauna that once roamed the land that now lies 30 to 150 feet below the North Sea waters.

You can read more information about this at the following link.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/the-watery-grave-of-europes-monsters-1744973.html
DETAILS
SPECIES
Megaloceros giganteus
LOCATION
North Sea, Doggerland Bank
SIZE
9.3" long
CATEGORY
ITEM
#57816
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