1 Tahrcountry Musings: Unravelling chemical signatures in Mammoth Tusks

Monday, November 28, 2005

Unravelling chemical signatures in Mammoth Tusks

Adam Rountrey, a graduate student in geology at the University of Michigan and his advisor, Daniel Fisherare are analysing the chemical signatures in mammoth tusks to understand the lives of the ancient elephant like creatures. Mammoths are related to African and Asian elephants and roamed vast stretches of North America and Eurasia until their extinction about 10,000 years ago. Mammoth tusks grow a little bit every day. Akin to using rings to reveal a tree's age, markings and chemical signatures in tusks help scientists to find out details like when a mammoth reached maturity and what it ate. The findings were presented recently at the annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology in Mesa, Arizona.

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