18,000-year-old animal horn fragment found in Siberia

A mysterious horn fragment, belonging to a buffalo or perhaps another unknown prehistoric animal that died some 18,000 years ago, has been found in Russia's south Siberian region.

It was discovered several days ago in a sand and gravel pit in the republic of Gorny Altai's northwestern Maimin district, officials said.

Experts believe the prehistoric animal could have been killed by a huge flood about 18,000 years ago, when a large lake in the Chui Steppe overflew its banks, Ria Novosti reported.

"That caused the most massive flood in history, with water moving at a speed of 160 kilometres an hour and covering earth with 490 metres of water," the republic's government said in a report posted on its website.

After a thorough examination, the discovery will be handed over to one of the republic's museums, it said.

Remains of extinct animals have previously been found in Altai. In the fall of 2012, mammoth tusks were discovered near the village of Maima, at a depth of over 10 metres.
Mammoths died out about 10,000 years ago during the last ice age.

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