Mammoths discovered at the bottom of a trap

Some 800 bones from at least 14 mammoths believed to have lived more than 14,000 years ago were found in central Mexico, the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) said.

The bones of gigantic herbivorous mammals were found in Tultepec, a city in central Mexico, about 45 kilometers from the capital.

Paleontologists estimate that at least five herds of mammoths lived in this area, where humans and other animals also lived.

Mammoths have lived in this area for thousands of years. They grew up there, reproduced and died there.

Luis Cordoba, INAH

They lived alongside other herbivorous species such as bison, horses and camels.

An effective trap

INAG explains that the remains of the animals were found at the bottom of two huge traps, pits dug by humans and intended to capture herbivorous animals.

This discovery shows that the human social organization of the time allowed them to modify their environment to hunt.

The pits are 1.7 meters deep and 25 meters in diameter. Excavations are still ongoing on the site.

Archaeologists thought until today that early humans killed mammoths only if they were old, wounded or caught in a natural trap.

This discovery suggests, however, that humans were planning their hunting activities 14,000 years ago, which is a surprise.

This is not the first discovery in Mexico in this area. In the 1970s, during the excavations required by the construction of the Mexico City metro, the remains of a mammoth had been exhumed in the north of the capital.