Image: Mammoth
Srdjan Ilic  /  AP
An archeologist works on a recently unearthed skeleton of a mammoth at the open pit coal mine.
updated 6/4/2009 9:15:25 AM ET 2009-06-04T13:15:25

A well-preserved skeleton of a mammoth that is believed to be about one million years old has been unearthed in eastern Serbia, archaeologists said Thursday.

The discovery was made during excavation two days ago at an open-pit coal mine near Kostolac power plant, said Miomir Korac, from Serbia's Archaeology Institute.

The skeleton was found 89 feet below ground, he said. The mammoth was more than 13 feet high, 16 feet long and weighed more than 10 tons.

"It is very well-preserved with only slight damage to the skull and the tusks," Korac told the AP. "There have been practically no major tectonic disruptions here for at least a million years."

Korac said the mammoth was a so-called southern mammoth, or mammuthus meridionalis, originating from northern Africa. Experts will continue research to find out more about the environment it lived in.

Another mammoth skeleton, from a much later period, was discovered at a factory in Serbia in 1996 and was named Kika.

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