updated 7/19/2005 10:58:41 AM ET 2005-07-19T14:58:41

The fossilized tusk of an ancient woolly mammoth has been discovered near a dairy farm in Tulare County. The 10-foot-long curved tusk is estimated to be 100,000 years old, according to Roger LaJeunesse, an anthropology professor at California State University in Fresno.

The single tusk is all that was found of the giant animal, an ancestor of the Asian elephant.

The area was once the site of the confluence of two prehistoric rivers, where archaeologists have recovered the bones of mammoths, saber-tooth cats, giant sloths, camels and prehistoric horses.

Earlier this week scientists confirmed that fossilized bones and a tusk found in Silicon Valley were likely those of a Columbian mammoth that roamed the area between 10,000 and 40,000 years ago.

After Tulare dairyman Joey Airoso found his tusk, some neighbors urged him to keep quiet about it. But he gave a chip of the white fossil to his college-student daughter, who took it to the anthropology department at Fresno State.

LaJeunesse said he knew right away it was the real thing.

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