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Fossil of pre-historic elephant unearthed in China
( 2001-10-19 16:06 ) (8 )

Chinese archaeologists recently found the fossil of a mastodon, a huge ancestor of the modern-day elephant, in a cave in Fanchang, east China's Anhui Province, which is recognized as the place where the earliest man in Asia lived.

With well-preserved dentes incisivi, cranium, vertebra and shank, the fossil is thought to be the most complete mastodon unearthed in Asia.

However due to either the effects of lime or to a heavy weight on the body, the fossil of the 14-year-old animal has become flattened.

Archaeologists from the China Academy of Sciences say the discovery should contribute much to the field of paleontology, climatology and paraecology.

Large-scale excavation of the cave has found fossils of advanced primates and stone- and bone-ware thought to be hand-made, dating back more than 2 - 2.4 million years. These fossils are said to be the earliest human cultural relics yet found in Asia.



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