In this photo, staff members from the Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) and the San Diego Natural History Museum are X-raying a 500,000-year-old mammoth skull fragment in the NMCSD radiology department on Monday. Man, those are some pretty massive teeth.

The mammoth fossil was discovered six years ago, and now the museum’s requested NMCSD’s assistance in CT and X-ray scanning of the specimen, so they can learn more about the extinct (or maybe not!) Ice Age mammal. “For this species of mammoth, which is the Colombian Mammoth, it’s the first time that a skull has been CT scanned. That’s pretty exciting,” said Kesler Randall Collections Manager to NBC San Diego.

Researchers hope the scans will provide greater evolutionary context and might be used to create 3D-printable models of the skull. Here is a lengthy U.S. Navy video of the whole process including the CT and X-Ray scanning of the mammoth skull fragment:

[Photo: Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Justin W. Galvin/U.S. Navy]

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