Repost: Doing the Haplomastodon Breakdown
African elephants are sturdy beasts. They don’t break down easily. After death, elephant bodies become temporary islands of intense activity – providing nourishment to scavengers from hyenas to beetles. The same was true of prehistoric elephants.
At Águas de Araxá, Brazil, a resort hotel sits on top of an ancient elephant graveyard. Construction workers found the large cache of Pleistocene fossils there while excavating the site in 1944. Later studies determined that the many family groups of prehistoric elephants found there had perished during some catastrophic event, perhaps a drought. There were no complete skeletons – the bones were scattered throughout the site – and a study published in the Journal of South American Earth Sciences