A fossilized elephant tusk at least 100,000 years old has been discovered on the seafloor off the Sicilian coast, according to a survey of underwater archaeologists.
Discovered during a series of archaeological dives in the waters off Torretta Granitola, a village on the island's southwestern coast, the tusk is more than 3 feet long.
"It was found embedded on the sea bottom in Pleistocene alluvional deposits," the Superintendency of Maritime Cultural Heritage of Sicily said in a statement.
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In the same area, Giampaolo Mirabile, a local diver, found some years ago two molar teeth belonging to the dwarf elephant Palaeoloxodon mnaidriensis, or Elephas Mnaidriensis, a species that roamed Sicily between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago.
"The tusk' size confirms the previous finding and points to the same extinct species," Sebastiano Tusa, Sicily's superintendent of the Sea Office, said.
Tusa, who dived to the site with Giampaolo Mirabile, Gaetano Lino and Alessandro Urbano, also noticed what appeared like elephant footprints near the tusk.