MAMMOTH'S TOOTH
Godalming Museum, ref: B980.230


This piece of mammoth's (MAMMUTHUS PRIMIGENIUS) tooth was unearthed at the Messrs. Baverstocks brewery site in Bridge Street. It found its way into the possession of Samuel Allden, a local collector, who ran a Godalming seed company in the late nineteenth century.

Fossil records show that mammoths first appeared in Europe in the Pliocene period, a few million years ago, but they were still roaming the Godalming area during the last Ice Age, which ended around 10,000 years ago. The teeth of a mammoth were made up of a series of enamel plates surrounding a core of dentine and held together by a form of dental 'cement'. The surface of the tooth, therefore was heavily ridged for chewing and grinding grasses and shrubby material. As the tooth wore away, it was shed and replaced by a new tooth moving forward from the back of the mammoth's jaw.

Other fossilised evidence of mammoths has been found in Surrey's glacial deposits. It is quite likely that they were hunted by nomadic, stone-age peoples - though, standing at 3m at the shoulder, a mammoth must have been difficult to hunt and kill.

 


SOURCES

Walker, Cyril and Ward, David, Fossils - Dorling Kindersley Handbook (London:Dorling Kindersley, 1992)

Available for reference in Godalming Museum

 

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