10 June, 12:00

A diver from the USA found part of a mastodon tusk

A diver from the USA found part of a mastodon tusk
An American diver named Alex Lundberg found an incomprehensible object that at first appeared to him to be part of a tree. It happened near the coast of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. However, his find turned out to be part of a mastodon tusk.

The part of the extinct animal was about 1.2 m long and weighed 31 kg. However, the exact age of the tusk found by Lundberg has not yet been determined.
Mastodons belong to an extinct group of large mammals from the order of proboscis. According to paleogeneticists, they separated from the ancestors of elephants approximately 30-20 million years ago. The last representatives of the genus died out in North America about 11,000 years ago. Currently, the remains of mastodons are often found all over the continent.

Under Florida law, fossils found on state property are owned by the state under the Florida Museum of Natural History. The diver had a permit to collect such fossils. Part of the tusk is currently in Lundberg's possession.
"The museum will review the discovery and locations to determine its significance, and the permit holder will be able to keep the fossil unless the museum requests it within 60 days of the report," said Rachel Narducci, collections manager for the museum's vertebrate paleontology department.

Lundberg, who earned a degree in marine biology from the University of South Florida and now works at a renowned cancer center in Tampa, is optimistic. He believes that he will be able to keep the tusk in his personal collection at least for a while, and later donate it to the museum.


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