News ID: 216581
Published: 0205 GMT June 12, 2018

Two-million-year-old fossils of elephant teeth found in NW Iran

Two-million-year-old fossils of elephant teeth found in NW Iran

Two Quaternary Period fossils of elephant teeth, dating back to almost two million years ago, were discovered in Iran's northwestern Ardabil Province, said the head of provincial Natural History and Genetic Resources Bureau.

Tahereh Eftekhari pointed to the significance of these fossils and said that investigations are continuing in the region for further evidence, reported IRNA on Tuesday.

Studies on the fossils will open up a new season for introducing vertebrate fossils, particularly those of elephants, in Iran, she highlighted.

Iran's Department of Environment is determined to conduct joint researches in this field with Azerbaijan to locate the habitats of these giant species in Iran, she stated.

"Since similar fossils have been found in Azerbaijan, the studies will prioritize the migration process and locate the birthplace and habitats of theses giant species," said the head of the organization affiliated to Iran's Department of Environment.

The fossils belong to two different species of furless mammoths whose origins date back to at least two million years, said Zahra Orak, the head of paleontology group at Natural History and Genetic Resources Bureau.

One of the fossils expose the teeth and the lower jaw, while the other shows the ivory and upper jaw of this group of mammals, she added.

Given the size of the teeth, it is speculated that elephants had been mature, she said, adding that one of them resembles the teeth of Indian elephants.

Elephants living in India may have inhibited Iran some two million years ago, she estimated.

The fossils are unique and intact and no such Quaternary fossils have hitherto been discovered in Iran, Orak noted.

 

   
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