West Runton Elephant - Conclusions


The elephant skeleton found at West Runton is the best example of the species Mammuthus trogontherii to be unearthed so far. Previous finds include two partial skeletons found in Germany and Russia, both of which were only about 10 to 15% complete. The West Runton specimen is 85% complete. From these remains it has been deduced that the West Runton Elephant stood some 4 metres (13 ft) at the shoulder and would have weighed in at 10 tonnes (11 short tons). This is twice the weight of the modern African elephant Loxodonta africana. The elephant was male.

From the study of the pollen and the discovery of other amphibians, snails and small mammals from the site, it was discovered that the landscape consisted of bodies of slow moving fresh water near to the sea, with a good amount of vegetation and moist woodland present. The climate was classically Pleistocene, almost identical to the climate today.

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