Fossil hunters find shin bone of 2m-year-old mammoth


Over the years, amateur fossil hunters Dan Chamberlain and Russell Yeomans have found a variety of fascinating items.

But none has been as big – literally – as the 4ft specimen they found last week.

The huge leg bone, thought to be a tibia, was found buried in sand at West Runton, Norfolk.

Amateur fossil hunters Dan Chamberlain (pictured) and Russell Yeomans found a two million year old Mammoth tibia buried in the sand at West Runton beach in Norfolk

Amateur fossil hunters Dan Chamberlain (pictured) and Russell Yeomans found a two million year old Mammoth tibia buried in the sand at West Runton beach in Norfolk

Amateur fossil hunters Dan Chamberlain (pictured) and Russell Yeomans found a two million year old Mammoth tibia buried in the sand at West Runton beach in Norfolk

The tibia – the larger and stronger of the two bones in the lower leg of vertebrates – was unearthed last week. The huge leg bone, thought to be a tibia, was found buried in sand at West Runton, Norfolk 

The tibia – the larger and stronger of the two bones in the lower leg of vertebrates – was unearthed last week. The huge leg bone, thought to be a tibia, was found buried in sand at West Runton, Norfolk 

The tibia – the larger and stronger of the two bones in the lower leg of vertebrates – was unearthed last week. The huge leg bone, thought to be a tibia, was found buried in sand at West Runton, Norfolk 

It belongs to a mammoth that lived up to two million years ago. ‘I’ve found fossils all along the coast but this is the best find I’ve had to date,’ said Mr Chamberlain, of Long Stratton.

‘I just spotted a piece of fossil antler and I looked for more of the same and then came across another couple of pieces of bone a few feet away, barely visible in the sand, and then a couple of feet away from that I spotted the end of a bone.

‘People have probably been walking over this for the past few days. I was just lucky enough to recognise it because it was the same colour as the rest of the crag around it.’

The tibia – the larger and stronger of the two bones in the lower leg of vertebrates – was unearthed on Friday.

The West Runton Freshwater Bed was also the spot where one of the most complete skeletons of a mammoth ever discovered in Europe was found in 1990.

The species is likely to be mammuthus meridionalis, the 13ft tall southern mammoth weighing ten tons (pictured from left: An artist's impression of how a mammoth looked, Dan Chamberlain and Russell Yeomans who together dug up the specimen) 

The species is likely to be mammuthus meridionalis, the 13ft tall southern mammoth weighing ten tons (pictured from left: An artist's impression of how a mammoth looked, Dan Chamberlain and Russell Yeomans who together dug up the specimen) 

The species is likely to be mammuthus meridionalis, the 13ft tall southern mammoth weighing ten tons (pictured from left: An artist’s impression of how a mammoth looked, Dan Chamberlain and Russell Yeomans who together dug up the specimen) 

Palaeontologist Nigel Larkin said: ‘They don’t get much better than this. It looks like it might be a complete tibia of a mammoth, in crag deposits. So that makes it about one-and-a-half or two million years old.’

Palaeontologist Nigel Larkin said: ‘They don’t get much better than this. It looks like it might be a complete tibia of a mammoth, in crag deposits. So that makes it about one-and-a-half or two million years old.’

Palaeontologist Nigel Larkin said: ‘They don’t get much better than this. It looks like it might be a complete tibia of a mammoth, in crag deposits. So that makes it about one-and-a-half or two million years old.’

A mammoth tooth was also found there last year.

Palaeontologist Nigel Larkin said: ‘They don’t get much better than this. It looks like it might be a complete tibia of a mammoth, in crag deposits. So that makes it about one-and-a-half or two million years old.’

He added the species is likely to be mammuthus meridionalis, the 13ft tall southern mammoth weighing ten tons.

 



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