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Wednesday 3 September 2014

Mammoth task to retrieve rare tusk

Published 15/02/2014 | 04:37

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Researchers from the University of Washington's Burke Museum inspect the fossilised mammoth tusk (AP)

A fossilised mammoth tusk found on a US building site has been retrieved from a 30ft pit and is on its way to a museum.

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Cheers rang out as scientists and building crews used a crane to retrieve and hoist the tusk from the pit in central Seattle, Washington, to a waiting flatbed lorry. The tusk was placed on a pallet, encased in plaster and covered in blankets.

It is believed to be from a Columbian mammoth and was measured at 8.5ft long after researchers cleared enough dirt overnight to fully expose it.

Paleontologist Christian Sidor says the tusk is between 22,000 and 60,000 years old.

Building workers found it Tuesday about 30ft below street level, thinking at first that it might be a pipe or a root.

AP

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