2-million year old fossils of elephant teeth found in NW Iran

Tehran, June 12, IRNA – Two Quaternary Period fossils of elephant teeth, as old as two million years, were discovered in Ardebil Province, northwestern Iran, said the head of Natural History and Genetic Resources Bureau of Ardebil Province.

'As similar fossils have been found in Republic of Azerbaijan, the priority of the studies is to find the birth place and habitats of the creatures,' said Tahereh Eftekhari.

Studying these fossils opens a new season for introducing vertebrate fossils, especially those of elephants in Iran, she said.

One of the fossils, belongs to a male and the other belongs to a female bald mammoth, said Zahra Orak, the head of paleontology department at Natural History and Genetic Resources Bureau.

Based on the size of teeth, it is speculated that elephants had been adult, she said, adding that one of them resembles the teeth of Indian elephants.

Indian elephants may have inhabited Iran some 2 million years ago, she speculated.

The fossils are so unique and intact that no such Quaternary fossils have been previously discovered in Iran, Orak said.

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