Juvenile Elephant Tooth (125,000 years old)
This unworn tooth belonged to a young, straight-tusked elephant (Palaeoloxodon antiquus) living in the Yorkshire Dales 120,000 years ago.
It was found in 1872 by Victorian archaeologists inside Victoria Cave, near Settle, along with the remains of hippo, rhino, lion, brown bears and giant deer, it was probably part of a skull brought in by hyenas.
A prime, male elephant would have stood over 5m tall, but at just 3 years old this baby was still entirely dependent on its mother for food and protection.
Although we can empathise with the mother loosing her baby, by keeping the local elephant population in check, hyenas helped maintain what must have been an unimaginably rich ecosystem at the time.
Palaeoloxodon antiquus molar (still erupting) from the Victoria Cave hyena bone bed covered by stalagmite dating to 115,000 BP. Source: O’Connor and Lord (2013) Cave Palaeontology
Archived in the Tot Lord Collection, Yorkshire.
Photography & 3D modelling by Hugh Fiske for DigVentures. http://digventures.com