20-mn-year-old fossilized mastodon teeth found in Iran

By Muhammet Kursun

TEHRAN (AA) – The fossilized teeth of a mastodon, believed to date back some 20 million years, have been discovered in Iran’s northwestern Ardabil province.

Mohamed Khodaparast, chairman of Ardabil’s environmental protection directorate, said that two sections of fossilized teeth were unearthed by construction workers in Ardabil’s city of Kawsar.

A long-extinct species, the mastodon is related to today’s elephant.

According to Khodaparast, the two sections of teeth — each of which is roughly one meter in length — are thought to date back to the Miocene Epoch (between five and 23 million years ago).

The teeth have since been sent to Iran’s Museum of Natural History for further analysis, Khodaparast said.

Over the last two years, several fossilized animal remains have been found in the same region of Ardabil, the official added.