Mammoth tooth donated
17 April 2013
An Otter valley landowner has donated a newly found mammoth tooth to the museum’s collection.
The 2.2kg tooth is from an Ice Age mammoth and dates to around 70,000 to 20,000 years ago: the last glaciation. It was found by an officer from the Environment Agency who was investigating bank erosion in the Otter valley after recent flooding. The tooth is a right upper second molar and has characteristic ridges for grinding up the tough tundra vegetation. The animal was about 20 years old at time of death.
Mammoth teeth are very dense and tend to survive better than other mammoth bones but they are, however, still very rare. There have been a handful of recorded finds in East Devon river valleys including finds made in the 1840s by the Sidmouth antiquarian Peter Orlando Hutchinson. He recorded a number of finds of mamoth teeth and tusks. Not all of them still survive but RAMM has a tusk on display in the Down to Earth gallery.