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CHOICE GRADE JUVENILE WOOLLY MAMMOTH MOLAR TOOTH WITH ROOT STRUCTURES

North Sea, Holland

LATE PLEISTOCENE PERIOD:  200,000 - 20,000 years ago

WOOLLY MAMMOTH TEETH are a popular display fossil of any collection.  The famous Wooly mammoth can be considered the mascot animal of the Earth's final Ice Age and this massive beast most certainly gained respect to all that got in its way including both Neanderthals and modern humans.  

With this listing we offer a RARE CHOICE grade lower molar tooth of a baby EUROPEAN Woolly mammoth, Mammuthus primigenius, of the last Ice Age.  The root is present and well preserved as seen in the photos.  With most Woolly mammoth teeth from the North Sea in a poor state of preservation or incomplete, an exceptionally well-preserved and fine grade example is very difficult to come across.  This woolly mammoth tooth is complete with NO REPAIR AND NO RESTORATION.  100% GENUINE!  Chewing surface is complete and intact.  The Woolly mammoth this tooth came from died with this tooth in its jaw.  This is not a common "spit" tooth you often see sold for a fraction of the price of this fine example.  Tooth has been stabilized to preserve its extraordinary condition.


SPECIAL NOTE:

Unlike other dealers, all our North Sea fossils are dried for at least one year before selling to ensure against disintegration.  They are then chemically treated with a hardener to protect their intact nature.  We guarantee your tooth will not fall apart.  If you purchase a North Sea fossil tooth or bone without the dealer performing this lengthy drying process and treatment, it WILL likely fall apart.

Truly HIGH quality European Ice Age mammoth teeth from the North Sea are much more rare than mammoth teeth from the Siberian tundra (Russia).  Most North Sea fossils are so badly eaten up and rotted by the harsh elements of the salt water.  The North Sea now covers what was once a  vast Ice Age valley where Pleistocene beasts and humans thrived.  The North Sea ocean floor is a deposit for the fossils of the fauna that lived during that time prior to this flooding.  These fossils are sometimes accidentally brought up in fishing nets, sustaining even further damage and breakage.  On the contrary, Pleistocene fossils from the Russian Siberian region are found in the ground in massive bone beds that extend for considerable distances.  These fossils are blasted out of the tundra with water cannons and large volumes of specimens are found intact.  The nature of their burial and method in which they are extracted has produced vast quantities of exceptionally preserved woolly mammoth teeth, bones, tusks, etc. so much so, that it seems like supply is inexhaustible with each year bringing a greater flood of these Russian specimens. 

Compare this to the rarity of retrieving a SINGLE high quality comparable European woolly mammoth tooth from beneath the North Sea and the differences in scarcity become apparent.  Top grade (only) North Sea fossils will surely appreciate in value over the years whereas, the sheer volume of fine grade Russian fossils that continue to flood the market will continue to bring prices DOWN for Russian mammal fossils in the years to come.  


Emerging 55 million years ago, the group of mammals called Proboscideans are identified by the presence of tusks and a trunk and include mammoths, mastodons and elephants.  The oldest mammoth remains have placed the beginnings of the beasts in Africa but eventually, they migrated to Europe and Asia.  Around 1.7 million years ago, the Ancestral mammoth began reaching North America and later evolved into the Columbian mammoth, otherwise known as the American mammoth. 

Woolly mammoths (Mammuthus primigenius) were first recorded in Eurasian deposits of the second to the last Ice Age, approximately 150,000 years ago.  Woolly mammoths descended from the Steppe mammoths (Mammuthus trogontherii).  Over time, the cheek teeth of Woolly mammoths evolved into a design of more numerous and tightly arranged enamel plates with less thickness.  The tusks of the Woolly mammoth developed a more dramatic curvature and their overall body size decreased.  These changes were advantageous in surviving the increasingly cold conditions of the last Ice Age.  Such teeth modifications enabled the Woolly mammoths to chew tougher tundra vegetation.  The reduction of body size accompanied by the reduction of the ears and trunk along with the development of a thicker pelt enabled the mammoths to survive in the harshness of a frozen world.  

A full grown Woolly mammoth stood around 10 - 12 feet high at the shoulder and weighed in at 6 - 8 tons.  Despite connotations of the word "mammoth" indicating immense proportions, the Woolly mammoth is actually not the largest mammoth that ever lived.  The Imperial mammoth was the largest and the North American Columbian mammoth was even larger than the Woolly mammoth.  The Woolly mammoth was about the same size as a present day Indian elephant but with a layer of fat and fur.  Preserved carcasses have been found in frozen tundra which allows us to know what the heavy coat of the Woolly mammoth was like.  Their fur was similar to that of the musk ox, consisting of long, dark hairs and fine under wool, with dark-grey skin and an insulating fat layer.  It is most likely that Woolly mammoths molted in summer like Musk oxen.  Another prominent feature of the Woolly mammoth was a high-domed skull with high-peaked shoulders resulting from the long spines of the neck vertebrae likely to anchor a large fat deposit.  

Woolly mammoths had smaller ears and a shorter trunk than modern-day elephants.  Many Woolly mammoths have been found with large, elaborately curved tusks.  Both the males and females possessed tusks, but the females’ tusks were smaller.  Tusks began to form at birth and continued growing throughout life, adding about a 1/4 inch a year in thickness as they grew.  Most of the tusk is comprised of a material called dentin but in layman's terms, we call it ivory.  The undersides of Woolly mammoth tusks often show wear, suggesting that they were used in scraping snow and ice off ground cover vegetation during feeding.  Woolly mammoths also use their tusks for protection against predators, attraction during mating and as a display of dominance to other Woolly mammoths.  The longest tusk ever found was almost 16 feet and weighs 208 pounds.

Mammoths were herbivores.  The teeth of a mammoth are amongst the most bizarre teeth of any animal ever known.  From the side, they resemble an extended accordion and are made up of a row of vertically oriented attached plates that when worn, create a washboard-like grinding surface.  This surface was ideally suited to grinding up hard-to-digest foods such as tough grasses and other thick vegetation.  A mammoth has four teeth in its skull, two uppers (one on each side) and two lowers.  Over the course of the life of the animal, six sets of teeth will grow, a worn set being pushed forward and out to make room for a new and unworn set.  This characteristic is still true of modern elephants.  A baby mammoth at age 6 will have already had three sets of teeth.  By 13 years of age, the fourth set emerges followed by a fifth set at age 27 years.  The final set of teeth come in around 43 years of age and as it wears away, the animal eventually starves to death and dies on average between 60 and 80 years of age.  Interestingly, the animal's life is limited by the fact that after the sixth set, no new teeth grow in to replace the final worn down set and the animal is no longer able to chew its food.  Mammoth teeth can also tell us the age and species of the creature.  Scientists can approximate age by comparing the length and width of the molars to corresponding age and tooth size charts from modern elephants.  The species is determined by the number of ridges found in the first four inches of the flat chewing surface. 

In the latter years of the last Ice Age, the Woolly mammoth co-existed with humans such as the Neanderthal and the Cro-Magnon people.  Prehistoric cave paintings in France and Spain have been found with images of the Woolly mammoth including hunting scenes.  Throughout world regions where Woolly mammoths existed at the same times as humans, kill sites have been discovered where mammoth carcasses had been butchered.  At these sites, scientists have found both stone tools and mammoth bones displaying gashes and cuts,  evidence of cutting and scraping by humans using these stone tools.  

It is believed that the end of the last Ice Age and the warming of the Earth caused the Woolly mammoths to die out at the end of the Pleistocene Period.  The DNA of an extinct wooly mammoth is 95% identical to an Indian elephant.  With recent discoveries of wooly mammoth remains frozen in tundra, there are ongoing attempts to clone intact DNA with that of the modern Indian elephant.

Woolly mammoth remains have been found in northern regions of North America, Eurasia and Europe.

UNCOMMONLY CHOICE GRADE SOLID SPECIMEN WITH RARE DELICATE ROOT STRUCTURE

4.25" long

SOLD     LM8-052     INCLUDES STAND     Actual Item - One Only

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