BBC Home
Explore the BBC



Last Updated: Friday February 20 2009 08:55 GMT

In pics: Ancient mammoth skeleton

Andrea Thomer, left, and Michelle Tabencki work on a fossilfound at the site

A nearly-complete ancient skeleton of a massive Columbian mammoth has been unearthed with a whole heap of bones at a construction site in Los Angeles.

A sign in the laboratory at the Page Museum showing Zed's skeleton

The mega mammoth has been nicknamed Zed by researchers at the Page Museum, where the bones are being carefully cleaned up and studied.

Lab supervisor Shelley Cox shows off part of Zed's skeleton

It's a big job. There are loads of of bits of bones and giant joints that have to be carefully pieced back together.

Assistant lab supervisor Trevor Vallecleaning part of one of Zed's 10-foot-long tusks

Check out this 10-foot-long tusk and imagine how big Zed must have been!

Meganne Macias works on some of Zed's bones

Columbian mammoths were a type of elephant that became extinct during the last ice age, about 40,000 years ago.

Assistant lab supervisor Trevor Valle works on one of Zed's tusks

By studying Zed's remains, researchers reckon he was in his late 40s when he died.

Herb Schift removes tar from a North America lion's skull

But Zed's weren't the only remains found during digging for an underground car park - hundreds of other fossils were also discovered, including this prehistoric American lion's skull!