Search

'You could call that long in the tooth'! Dental discovery a reminder of region's mammoth past

PUBLISHED: 17:28 13 May 2019 | UPDATED: 11:32 14 May 2019

A southern wooly mammoth tooth, which Brad Damms found on the beach at Sidestrand, Norfolk. Picture: BRAD DAMMS

A southern wooly mammoth tooth, which Brad Damms found on the beach at Sidestrand, Norfolk. Picture: BRAD DAMMS

Archant

They may have died out thousands of years ago, but traces of the mammoths that once roamed Norfolk still linger.

A southern wooly mammoth tooth, which Brad Damms found on the beach at Sidestrand, Norfolk. Picture: BRAD DAMMSA southern wooly mammoth tooth, which Brad Damms found on the beach at Sidestrand, Norfolk. Picture: BRAD DAMMS

Brad Damms found one of them - a tooth - lying on top of the sand at Sidestrand.

Mr Damms, from Holt, said he was "excited and pleased" to have found the tooth on Saturday, May 11, while he was scanning the coast as part of a project for a London studio called Scanlab.

He said: "It was laying on top of the sand.

"I knew what it was as I am a member of various fossil Facebook pages but the experts on the groups confirmed it as part of a southern mammoth tooth.

A southern wooly mammoth tooth, which Brad Damms found on the beach at Sidestrand, Norfolk. Picture: BRAD DAMMSA southern wooly mammoth tooth, which Brad Damms found on the beach at Sidestrand, Norfolk. Picture: BRAD DAMMS

"The tide washes in bits of fossilised bone and tooth daily, so it's exciting wondering what can be found."

Southern mammoths are thought to have weighted about 8,000kg and were around seven metres long and four metres high. They lived between 2.5 million and 700,000 years ago in the late Pliocene and early Pleistocene epochs.

Mr Damms added: "I've also found a lot of fossilised bones too on Sidestrand but I know they can be found up the coast to West Runton."

Scientists believe the southern mammoth lacked the dense fur of the woolly mammoth because it lived in a warmer climate.

An artist's impression of the southern mammoth (Mammuthus meridionalis). Image: PUBLIC DOMAINAn artist's impression of the southern mammoth (Mammuthus meridionalis). Image: PUBLIC DOMAIN

Both these species were related to the West Runton Mammoth - the largest nearly complete mammoth skeleton ever found, in 1990 - which was a steppe mammoth.

The Scanlab project involves mapping parts of Norfolk to reveal changes in the landscape. As part of it, Mr Damms is spending six months taking scans and photographs every day to build a picture of how our landscape has changed over time.

Matt Shaw, from the London-based firm, said coastal erosion made the county an interesting area to study.

Mr Shaw said: "We tell stories through 3D technologies.

Sidestrand beach, where the latest mammoth discovery was made. Picture: Angela SharpeSidestrand beach, where the latest mammoth discovery was made. Picture: Angela Sharpe

"We are using the latest 3D scanning and imaging technology to document areas in Norfolk that are undergoing landscape-scale change over time."

The region's pre-history is the focus of a Deep History Coast initiative being led by North Norfolk District Council.

The project aims to encourage residents and visitors alike to delve deep into the region's past with projects such as a discovery trail, information centre and 'mammoth marathon'.

A comaprison of mammoth sizes. The southern mammoth (Mammuthus meridionalis) is on the far right, and the woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) is on the far left. Image: PUBLIC DOMAINA comaprison of mammoth sizes. The southern mammoth (Mammuthus meridionalis) is on the far right, and the woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) is on the far left. Image: PUBLIC DOMAIN

A lifesized replica of the West Ruton Mammoth, called Hugh Mungus, was displayed on West Runton beach in 2015. Picture: PAUL DAMENA lifesized replica of the West Ruton Mammoth, called Hugh Mungus, was displayed on West Runton beach in 2015. Picture: PAUL DAMEN

Brad Damms, who found a mammoth tooth on Sidestrand beach. Picture: COURTESY OF BRAD DAMMSBrad Damms, who found a mammoth tooth on Sidestrand beach. Picture: COURTESY OF BRAD DAMMS

You may also want to watch:

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the North Norfolk News

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists