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Mammoth tooth to go on show at Spurn National Nature Reserve
TO the untrained eye this huge mammoth tooth, which washed up on the East Riding coast, might be a rock.
But eagle-eyed Andy Gibson, an officer for the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, said he was thrilled when he realised he had spotted a fossilised mammoth’s molar at Spurn National Nature Reserve.
He said: “Like many others, I find it hard to resist staring at the strandline for oddities, from flip flops to old toys and huge pieces of kelp to shark egg cases.
“I enjoy searching for fossils which find their way on to Spurn’s shores as a result of long shore drift, where the swash and backwash of waves drive coastal deposits such as shingle down the coastline.
“I couldn’t believe my luck when I spotted this huge tooth.”
The tooth is not an unusual find for Spurn. A visiting family once found a mammoth tusk which was analysed and discovered to be more than 50,000-years-old.
It is now on display in the Information Centre.
Keith Boughey, editor of the journal Prehistoric Yorkshire, said: “Mammoth teeth are not uncommon. They get washed up along the Holderness coast quite a bit and trawlers (in Denmark as well) pull them up in their nets from the bottom of the North Sea from time to time.
“After all, the North Sea didn’t exist in the time of the mammoths. It was dry land then and the UK was joined to the rest of Europe.”
• The Spurn Migration Festival is being held this weekend. In addition to beachcombing, there will be insect and plant walks, history walks, photography workshops along with migration walks and bird ringing demonstrations across the weekend.
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