Partial P4 Mammoth Molar From North Sea

This is a partial M2 molar from a woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius). It is late Pleistocene in age, between 20 and 50 thousand years old and comes from the North Sea deposits.

Mammoths like modern elephants had only a single functional tooth in each quadrant (upper right, lower left, etc.) of their mouth at any given time. The 6 teeth in each jaw (p2, p3, p4, m1, m2 and m3 on each side of the lower jaw, and P2, P3, P4, M1, M2 and M3 on each side of the upper, replace each other serially - as p2 is lost and falls out, p3 is sliding in right behind it and takes its place. Once the last set of teeth are worn down the mammoth can no longer chew it's food an would eventually die of starvation.

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.
Mammuthus primigenius
North Sea
5" long, 4" tall
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