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Mammoth Tusk Spotted Protruding From Riverbank In Alaska

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Mammoth Tusk Spotted Protruding From Riverbank In Alaska

An incredible image snapped by a research specialist shows the tusk of a mammoth protruding from the side of a river in Alaska.

Spanning 425 miles, Alaska's Koyukuk River boasts scenic views, hiking opportunities and a variety of wildlife, including, apparently, some which roamed the earth more than 10,000 years ago.

Adrienne Ghaly, a University of Virginia environmental humanities research specialist, took to Twitter earlier this week to share the moment she caught on camera part of a woolly mammoth; a creature made all the more elusive due to the fact it's long been extinct.

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Woolly mammoths were around until about 10,000 years ago. Credit: Shutterstock
Woolly mammoths were around until about 10,000 years ago. Credit: Shutterstock

Rather than being embedded into the ground amid a paleontological dig site, as you might expect when it comes to fossils that aren't already on display in museums, this particular tusk was on display in a different manner.

The image shared by Ghaly shows the huge tusk sticking straight out of the side of a massive rock wall towering over the Koyukuk, with the layers of rock formed since this particular mammoth took its last breath causing it to lie right at the bottom of the wall.

The research specialist and Twitter user explained in her post that the mammoth could be found 'on the Koyukuk near Coldfoot Alaska', and suggested it was from the Pleistocene period, which spanned from about 2,580,000 to 11,700 years ago.

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Ghaly made clear she hadn't discovered the tusk, but instead had simply been taken to see it on a float that had travelled on the river. According to Ghaly, the ancient object is being monitored with a camera by researchers from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, who have also tied ropes to the tusk to prevent it from falling into the river as a result of erosion to the wall surrounding it.

The National Parks Service (NPS) has explained the North Fork of the Koyukuk River contains a 'high density of archeological sits', with at least 86 historic and prehistoric archeological sites identified from the North Fork within Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, which is located about three hours from Coldfoot.

The majority of these sites, according to the NPS, are 'immediately adjacent to the river’s course'.

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Ghaly's image of the tusk has impressed social media users, many of who have liked the image and re-shared it to Twitter and beyond.

Internet users have described the image as 'cool' and 'awesome', while others couldn't resist joking about whether the mammoth was 'okay' given its unfortunate position beneath the wall.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]  

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/@avghaly

Topics: News, Alaska, US News

Emily Brown
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