Posted at: 08/07/2014 11:10 AM
Updated at: 08/07/2014 11:48 AM
By: The Associated Press
Teeth fragments believed to be from a mastodon found at White Sands Missile Range.
Photo: U.S. Army Photo by Laura Almaraz
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - Remains of a prehistoric elephant-like creature have been found in southern New Mexico.
The Las Cruces Sun-News reports White Sands Missile Range recently announced the discovery of a fossilized mastodon skeleton on the expansive military installation.
Stan Berryman, an archaeologist at WSMR, says the mastodon was first found in January in the foothills of the San Andres Mountains to the west of U.S. 70. He says a 10-person crew was searching for remnants of early Native American cultures.
Officials say the team was led to the specimen via a trail of tooth fragments.
Preliminary information says the mastodon fossil, dubbed "Chompers," may have lived around 30,000 years ago.
A descendant of earlier elephant-like animals, the American Mastodon lived across all of North America during the Ice Age.
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