When workers digging up sand at a quarry in Russia's Ural Mountains stumbled upon several large bones, they had no idea they had just unearthed a graveyard of mammoth tusks and other prehistoric animals' remains.
The Kuzeyev Institute for Ethnological Research said in a statement last week that archeologists had started excavations at a site near the Belaya River in the Bashkortostan region after workers at a quarry reported having dug up several outlandishly large bones.
Digging up a 200-square-meter area, archaeologists then unearthed numerous more bones belonging to prehistoric animals, including mammoth tusks and vertebrae, RIA Novosti news agency reported, citing a spokesperson for the local archeology museum.
The museum, where the remains will be preserved, is now awaiting a crew of paleontologists to establish the mammoths' age and gender, the spokesperson was quoted as saying.
Scientists will also work on identifying which prehistoric animals some of the other discovered bones belong to, RIA Novosti said.
Since 2007, the local archeology museum already has had as part of its collection the skeleton of a mammoth that was found near the same river in 1970, the report added.