08/11/2012 10:47 GMT | Updated 08/11/2012 10:58 GMT

Mammoth Skeleton 'Helmut' Found Near Paris (PICTURES)

A near complete skeleton of a woolly mammoth has been found near the French capital of Paris.

The remains, which are believed to be between 200,000 and 500,000 years old, were discovered at Changis-sur-Marne and include a femur, a complete pelvis, jawbones and four connected vertebrae, AFP reported.

The skeleton has been nicknamed Helmut and the animal is believed to have been between 20-30 years old when it died.


'Helmut' is thought to have roamed the earth between 200,000 and 500,000 years ago

According to the National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP), two flint axes were also found near the skull.

Researchers have speculated the tools may have been used to cut up the animal for meat.


Chief archaeologist Gregory Bale told L'Espress magazine: "Some archaeologists have spent their lives dreaming of such a discovery and having this opportunity."

The mammoth is said to be of the 'Woolly Mammoth' or 'Mammuthus Primigenius' species, which typically lived in Eurasia and North America, before disappearing some 10,000 years ago in the wake of global warming.