More about mammoths : Clues from rocks

Where Was Lupe Found?

Lupe, the mammoth fossil, was found in a grey and brown sedimentary layer near the San Jose Airport. The rock contains sand and silt (very fine sand and clay).

satellite photo of the dig site

dig site

A satellite photo showing where Lupe was found and scientists mapping the site.

It was strange to find a mammoth at that spot because scientists thought that the rock layer there was very young, perhaps 3,000-5,000 years old. But mammoths have been extinct for 10,000 years. This means that the rock layer where the fossil was discovered must be at least 10,000 years old. Because of this mammoth discovery, scientists had to rethink the age of the rocks in the area.

This is a great example of how science works. Because science is an ongoing process, a new discovery can lead to new thoughts and new questions about a previous idea.

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