Skeletons of a family of mammoths that were found buried together in Russia back in 2002 are all set to go under the hammer at an auction in the UK on September 21. The mammoths are likely to fetch 400,000 pounds at the auction. The four mammoths include adult male and female mammoths, a young female and one-year-old baby.
The skeletons were discovered near the Siberian city of Tomsk during building works. The height of the adult female was just over two metres and her weight was about 2.8 tonnes.
The tooth wear indicates that she is about 45-years-old. The male is slightly taller than the female mammoth.
"The second female mammoth is definitely younger and judging by its size, characteristics of the bones and teeth, it can be reasonably assumed that she was about eight to nine years old," according to Summers Place Auctions in the UK.
The one-year-old mammoth is the highlight of the family as it is only the second known almost complete baby mammoth skeleton in the world, according to the auction house.
"The mammoth has always been a herd animal, so the discovery of this family is simply the perfect representation of this species," said Errol Fuller, Natural History curator at Summers Place Auctions.
"About 20,000 years ago the great herds that had roamed across vast areas of Europe, Asia and North America started to dwindle to localised bands of animals, which also started to reduce in physical size," Fuller said.
"So this family seems to be a prime example of the extinction of the mammoth through climate change and human intervention," Fuller added.