Archaeologists digging in the Nagano Prefecture of Japan have discovered the fossilised thighbone of a prehistoric Nauman elephant.
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Background: Archaeologists digging in the Nagano Prefecture of Japan have discovered the fossilised thighbone of a prehistoric Nauman elephant.
The fossil, dug out of the now-dry Nojiri Lake, shows that the Nauman elephant was much bigger than the present Indian elephant.
The discovery was made during excavations late last month by a team led by Professor Yasumasa Gohara of Shinshu University.
The fossil is of an animal believed to have died at the end of the last ice age, about 20,000 years ago.
The Nauman elephant is named after Doctor Edmund Nauman , a German geologists who discovered fossils of the hairy elephant during a stay in Japan about a hundred years ago.
The fossil found last month measures 99 centimetres by 15 centimetres and is the largest of its kind found so far.
Estimate based on it put the size of the elephant at three metres high and weighing more than four tons.