Mammoths in the Cotswolds

10 years ago a complete skull of a woolly mammoth was found in a working gravel pit in Cotswold Water Park. Dr Hollingworth, a paleontologist, had visited the site to look for the remains of Ice Age mammals after discovering a bone fragment. As he walked across the gravel pit he saw a bit of bone sticking out. After a few minutes of concentrated digging he realised that he had found a complete skull. It took seven hours to carefully dig out and then four people to carry it. The skull is believed to have come from a female woolly mammoth who lived over 50,000 years ago. She would have weighed 3.5 tons and been 10 feet tall. Like all mammoths she would have travelled and lived in a group in cold dry grasslands and would have been an excellent swimmer. She would have eaten at least 400 pounds of vegetation every day! Woolly mammoths grew new sets of teeth as the old ones wore down, so during her life she would have had six sets of teeth.
The skull is on display at the Gateway Visitor Centre at the entrance to Cotswold Water Park.

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