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Vatican prize for 'supersized' fossil tusks found in Greece
The discovery of the gigantic fossilised tusks of a mastodon that roamed the Greek province of western Macedonia some 2.5-3.0 million years ago has earned Greek paleontologist Evangelia Tsoukala the prestigious 'Giuseppe Sciacca' Science Prize awarded by the Vatican, which is due to be presented on November 16.
The Thessaloniki University professor will share the prize with Dutch researcher Dick Mol, who also took part in the excavation at Milies and Agios Georgios in the region of Grevena.
The spectacular intact mastodon tusks, measuring 5.02 metres in length, were discovered in 2007 and were the longest ever found. The fossilised remains - from a mastodon some 3.5 metres in height, 8.5 metres long and weighing eight tonnes - indicate that the region was tropical in nature, with plentiful water, and occupied by many animals that today are found in Africa and Asia.