Aunique skeleton of pygmy mammoth (Mammuthus exilis) discovered in a sand dune is described and its significance interpreted. The specimen was exposed on a +30 degree slope, approximately 10 m above a vertical cliff, which dropped ca. 20 m to the surf zone. A recent drainage channel had cut through the dune, and erosion had removed several elements. The specimen is the first virtually complete pygmy (dwarf) mammoth individual to be recovered, and is exceptionally intact, including hyoid bones and sternum in life position. The individual represents an adult male that had reached sexual maturity, and the skeleton showed signs of arthritis. Stature from field measurements was calculated to be less than 2 m at shoulder height, approximately 1/2 the height of the mainland mammoth (Mammuthus columbi), its probable ancestor.

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CC BY 3.0 NL ("Naamsvermelding")

Natuurhistorisch Museum Rotterdam

L.D. Agenbroad, D. Morris, & L. Roth. (1999). Pygmy mammoths Mammuthus exilis from Channel Islands National Park, California (USA). Deinsea, 6(1), 89–102.