This is one of two Woolly Mammoth, Mammuthus primigenius (Blumenbach), molars found at Highbridge Gravel Pit, Highbridge, Colden Common, Hampshire. This one was found in 1928 by Capt. Hamman; the other was found in 1930and is part of the Reginald Hooley Collection.
Woolly mammoths are extinct relatives of modern Asian elephants, but closer in size to African elephants and between 2.8m and 4m in height. They weighed up to 6 – 8 tons and spent between 16 - 20 hours a day foraging for grass and other plants.
Mammoths first arrived in Europe in the last Ice Age, between 190,000 and 130,000 years ago, during a time known as the Pleistocene epoch. Recent work on mammoths shows that they were around in England until about 14,000 years ago.
Woolly mammoths were well adapted to the cold weather. As well as having a thick hairy coat over a soft woolly undercoat, they had a 10cm layer of fat to keep them warm. Mammoths had small ears lined with fur and a short tail which helped to reduce heat loss.
The tusks of mammoths were much longer (sometimes more than 4.2m) and more curved than elephant tusks. They were used for fighting and digging for food in deep snow.
In Hampshire mammoth remains have been found at Alton, Andover, Binsted, Colden Common, Emsworth, North Warnborough, Nursling Gravel Pits, Ringwood and Winchester.